Failing U.S. transportation system will imperil prosperity, report finds

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.

Matthew Yglesias » Land Value Tax

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.)

Should All Public Transit Be Free?

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.

(Via .)