By David Levinson and David King.
Today libertarian (if not “Libertarian”) transportation policy (best represented by Reason) favors moving towards road pricing, public private partnerships, contracting out, HOT lanes, and privatization as strategies, but doing so intelligently. All of this will have the consequence of raising the cost of travel by automobile and result in fewer vehicle miles traveled than current policies. It also suggests that if auto travel is more expensive, the use of other modes will increase. One of those other modes is buses.
Libertarians uphold the value of “Liberty”, freedom of action. Providing mobility for those without effective options increases overall freedom.
Why Libertarians should support buses.
- Buses are more easily contracted out or franchised to private firms in a competitive way than infrastructure itself, which is embedded capital subject to natural spatial monopolies. The evidence for the ease of contracting is the extent of contracting (many non-US cities already contract out or franchise bus services).
- Bus routing and scheduling is also more dynamic and adaptable to actual and changing needs given an environment with ubiquitous roads and evolving land uses.
- Buses can take advantage of High Occupancy/Toll lanes, and integrated busways/HOT lanes are useful for suburb to city radial commuting markets, sharing the fixed costs of expensive facilities over more users than exclusive transit ways, without a time penalty.
- Buses enable people without other options to travel farther than no motorized transport at all, increasing freedom.
Political Parties, Three-Axes, And Public Transport