Grush Hour: Lost: Dutch Courage
I am convinced if some small north-western European nation cannot get it done first, it won’t happen in the US. I thought that country would be the Netherlands. Real road pricing is not something the US can pioneer.
From WaPoFailing U.S. transportation system will imperil prosperity, report finds. I agree with some of the conclusions.
Infrastructure is deteriorating, roads are over-consumed, pollution is still pervasive, innovation is lacking, and the system kills > 30000 people a year in the US.
And the ocean is still wet. Pardon my cynicism, but this is at least the ninety-dozenth study stating this (with the same set of inter-changeable policy wonks, many of them my friends and colleagues), yet policy is seemingly immovable.
The problem is not in funding, the problem is in *institutions*. The wrong institutions are managing the highway (and other) transportation systems, leading to funding problems. If the institutions were properly structured, funding would fall into place.
Yes this is a bigger issue in the short run, but the same institutions will lead to the perpetual policy crisis surface transportation is in.
Matt Yglesias supports the Land Value Tax Land Value Tax
I wasted an hour or so this morning googling and reading about the idea of a land-value tax and the case for it seems (a) extremely compelling and (b) to be made primarily by cranks.
I hope I am not a crank, but we looked at favorably. (forthcoming in Journal of Transport and Land Use.)
Think Tank | Big Think asks:
Should All Public Transit Be Free? : “”
I think the answer is “no”. Some transit should be free, e.g. on campus where transit functions as a club good, serves only on-campus trips made by a campus community. Elevators should be free. Certainly the advantage of free is the lower collection costs and faster boarding times (and perhaps some induced demand, but I imagine this is relatively small). Were transit free, it would need to cover an additional 33% of operating costs, or cut service by 1/3 (or some combination). Were transit free, very low value trips would get made (e.g. teenage joy-riding), and I believe this would have a negative externality on more serious riders. When transit is on the left side of the U-shaped average cost curve with declining marginal costs (MC), free is a plausible argument if average costs can otherwise be covered (aside from the joy-riding problem). When transit has rising MC (as in the peak, or full commuter buses perhaps), free is definitely not a good option.