Category: Transportation

Transportation Deja Vu All Over Again

Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood addresses a joint transportation study committee this week at the Georgia State Capitol. By Benita M. Dodd Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was in town this week, advocating a 10 cent increase in the gas tax to go to Washington to fund transportation, citing crumbling transportation infrastructure and the state of the interstates. He said now that he’s out of office, he can speak more freely. He said Georgia, with the world’s busiest airport, has no one to influence Congress’ transportation policymakers. He said that we should send Washington the money,  and maybe they’ll stand up and do the right thing. This he said after the state DOT commissioner, Keith Golden, talked about how… View Article
The July 19, 2014, Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an op-ed by Benita Dodd on mass transit in Clayton County. By Benita M. Dodd By all accounts, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is operating infinitely more responsibly and responsively and, for that, CEO Keith Parker and a largely sensible MARTA board deserve credit. Unfortunately, that and the flimsy prospect of MARTA rail service for Clayton County hardly justify adding a penny to Clayton’s sales tax for MARTA to operate its mass transit. There’s that famous saying: “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Many Clayton workers have struggled with public transportation since the 2010 shutdown of C-Tran service. Remember why it shut down? That was the result of… View Article
MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Mike Klein Make no mistake about it, a deeper trench in the Savannah River harbor and channel is a really big deal to ensure that Georgia’s port remains globally competitive, but when you look down the road just a few years there is an even more critical strategic priority: building a completely new port. The proposed Jasper Ocean Terminal would be constructed in South Carolina on land owned by Georgia and it would benefit from the new deeper Savannah River access to the Atlantic Ocean, and the world. “We have stated many times that we need to deepen the harbor here at Savannah, we need to deepen the harbor at Charleston and we… View Article

Studies: Cars, Not Transit, Will Help the Poor

‘Car ownership plants the seeds for upward mobility’ By Scott Beyer (The Daily Beast) For decades, urban planners have preached mass transit as the key to economic mobility, but new studies show that improving access to cars may be the best way to help the poor. Sometimes academic studies are good at officially validating what people already know intuitively. For Americans who wait through lengthy public transportation commutes, it’s common sense that owning a car would offer advantages. Now two recent studies show that cars offer more than just convenience: they can give lower income Americans an economic leg up. A 2011 Brookings Institute study (PDF) found that in the 100 largest U.S. metro areas, only 22% of… View Article
In his Policy Analysis for the Cato Institute released June 3, 2014, Randal O’Toole questions the motives of rail advocates who are willing to support high-cost, low-capacity rail transit, noting: “Supporters of low-capacity lines are not truly interested in transportation; supporters of high-cost lines are not truly interested in urban efficiencies.” The Worst of Both: The Rise of High-Cost, Low-Capacity Rail Transit Executive Summary By Randal O’Toole Most new rail transit lines in the United States and around the world are either light rail, including lines that sometimes run in or cross city streets, or heavy rail, which are built in exclusive rights of way, usually elevated or in subways. Heavy rail costs far more to build than light rail,… View Article
Writing for the Reason Foundation on June 16, Jerry Brito notes that the Virginia government’s response to Uber and Lyft is behind the times and a disservice to residents. It’s a warning Georgia should heed. By Jerry Brito Technological innovation sometimes makes laws obsolete. Consider the “Red Flag Laws” of the late 19th century, which required early automobiles traveling on roads to be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag in order to warn others on horses of the vehicle’s approach. Today, most states require cars traveling on roads to have a human driver at the wheel—a regulation that to our descendants will sound just as preposterous as flag-waving does to us. Yet how do we get… View Article
Mike KleinEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Mike Klein President Barack Obama has signed legislation that will provide nearly a half billion federal dollars to deepen the Savannah River and Harbor, a project that is essential to Georgia’s economic future when larger ships begin to move through the Panama Canal.  Georgia congressional delegation members attended Tuesday morning’s White House signing ceremony. The President said, “As more of the world’s cargo is transported on these massive ships we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got bridges high enough and ports that are big enough to hold them and accommodate them so that our businesses can keep selling goods made in America to the rest of the world.” The Port of Savannah… View Article
BENITA DODD Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd recently recorded three segments of “This Week in Blairsville” with WJRB radio host Patrick Malone.  Benita and Patrick discussed Georgia Public Policy Foundation priorities that include limiting government, helping taxpayers keep their dollars and encouraging individual responsibility.  “We believe that government has grown entirely too large,” Dodd said. Each program was recorded in two segments. First program: environment and transportation. Segment One Segment Two Second program: education and criminal justice reform. Segment One Segment Two Third program: taxation and government spending. Segment One Segment Two View Article

State needs power to fix problems

By Benita M. Dodd What’s a state to do when the federal surface transportation program heads toward its Sept. 1 expiration date with little promise of a new transportation bill and the Federal Highway Trust Fund’s expenditures outpace tax receipts about $1.25 billion a month? BENITA DODD The good news is nobody expects Congress to allow the program to lapse. Washington will slap on some Band-Aid legislation taking states into 2015 (hint: November elections) but the wounds of partisanship will continue to fester. What Georgia should not be doing is holding its breath. State transportation leaders should hold their noses instead; forge ahead with new and growing independence from the federal government. Gov. Nathan Deal is doing so already, having… View Article

Thank you for what you are doing to lead the nation. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is leading the way. This is truly one of the leading lights in the state think tank movement. Excellent ideas. It’s well run. For those of you who are donors I congratulate you on your wisdom and I encourage you to do it and do it more.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2015) more quotes