Linklist: September 19, 2011

Sam Staley writes: Feds Rule Out Transit Efficiency With Labor Rules: “Unfortunately, transit agencies have been hamstrung by federal regulations from using this management and efficiency enhancing tool through Section 5333(b), Title 49 U.S. Code (formerly known as Section 13(c) of the Federal Transit Act).
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, any time federal funds are using to “acquire, improve, or operate a transit system, Federal law requires arrangements to protect the rights of affected transit employees.” U.S. law Section 5333(b) “specifies that the arrangements must provide for the preservation of rights and benefits of employees under existing collective bargaining agreements, continuation of collective bargaining rights, protection of individual employees against a worsening of their positions in relation to their employment, assurances of employment to employees of acquired transit systems, priority of reemployment, and paid training or retraining programs.””

Jeff Jacoby: The enemies of Jim Crow : “In a notable study published in the Journal of Economic History in 1986, economist Jennifer Roback showed that in one Southern city after another, private transit companies tried to scuttle segregation laws or simply chose to ignore them.”

Roback said in her abstract:

“The introduction of segregation laws for municipal streetcars is examined. The economics of private and public segregation is analyzed first, taking note of the particular features of the streetcar industry, followed by a discussion of the contemporary debates on streetcar segregation laws in a number of southern cities. The evidence presented suggests that segregation laws were binding constraints and not simply the codification of customary practice. Furthermore, the streetcar companies were not the initiators of segregation and sometimes actively resisted it. These findings are related to several major interpretations of the origins of segregation.”

Audi ad

MediaPost reports on an Audi ad I spotted yesterday during a football game: : “A second execution points out that highway repair is underfunded, costing drivers $67 billion per year. The ads with the tagline “The road is now an intelligent place” will run in national and cable buys with print in national newspapers and online beginning this month.”

Underfunded highways is a selling point for upgraded cars. This is really fascinating. Maybe we should just fix the roads. If anyone has a video of the ad, please let me know. Thanks to Mike Hicks for finding the link