Category: Transportation

Frequently Asked Questions About Toll Concessions

Below is the excerpt of a message from one of our senior fellows, Bob Poole, on a timely subject – transportation. Specifically, he addresses conservative concerns about public private partnerships and toll projects. His recently published Frequently Asked Questions about Toll Concessions is worth the read. I’m Bob Poole, Director of Transportation Policy at Reason Foundation. The topic I’d like to raise with you is market-based highway policy. What I mean by that term is a set of policies for 21st-century highways that depart from the statist model that evolved in the 20th century. Whereas highways in the pre-auto 19th century were mostly toll roads, created by entrepreneurs, 20th-century highways were entirely governmental—meaning state-owned, with funding based on taxes on… View Article

Transit Tall Tales and Coping With Too Much Money

According to pro-rail transit Metro magazine, American cities face a dilemma: The demand for rail transit continues to grow, yet there is a scarcity of federal dollars to pay for it. In fact, most of the things the article says are wrong or, at least, they indicate that cities have too much money, not a shortage. If it weren’t for this surfeit of funds, cities wouldn’t plan ridiculously expensive rail lines that, in most cases, do nothing for transit riders or transportation users in general. This is shown by all of the examples in the Metro article. Los Angeles’ Westside Subway will be less than four miles long yet is expected to cost well over $2.8 billion, or more… View Article

Reason Foundation dispels express toll lane myths

From Bob Poole of the Reason Foundation in his Surface Transportation Innovations Newsletter: Distortions of Fact on North Carolina Toll Concession Project The I-77 express toll lanes project in Charlotte is proceeding despite an active grass-roots campaign against it. This effort is making many of the same kinds of misleading or outright false allegations about the project that have surfaced in Georgia, Texas, and elsewhere, so it’s important that transportation professionals understand what they are up against from this type of opposition. The most respectable summary of these allegations was put out in June by a think tank called Civitas NC, drawing on the work of grass-roots activists. Written by Rachael Dobi, its headline was “I-77 HOT Lanes: a Bargain… View Article
Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood was in Atlanta on August 5 and addressed a joint legislative committee on transportation funding. He said Georgia needs more clout in Congress. Barry Loudermilk, congressional candidate and former member of both the Georgia House and Senate transportation committees, wrote this response to Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on LaHood’s comments; it was published in The Political Insider column. (Benita Dodd wrote about the legislative committee hearing; read it here.)  By Barry Loudermilk I read with interest former congressman Ray LaHood’s comments, about the lack of a Georgian on the Congressional Transportation Committee, and AJC columnist Jim Galloway’s analysis thereof; and I felt compelled to contribute a conservative counterpoint to their conclusions.… View Article

Getting with the Program on Georgia Transportation

By Benita M. Dodd The regional transportation sales tax referendum failed two years ago across most of Georgia and in metro Atlanta. So it’s encouraging to see movement again, in the form of a joint study committee on transportation funding that met in Atlanta August 5 for the first of seven meetings around the state before the 2015 legislative session. Testifying at the first meeting were Keith Golden, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation, Ray LaHood, former Secretary of Transportation, and Michael Sullivan, chairman of the Georgia Transportation Alliance, which is an advocacy arm of the Georgia Chamber. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has long maintained that transportation policy needs to be about congestion relief and improving mobility: Get… View Article

Transportation Deja Vu All Over Again

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 undependable the federal government is and how the way the feds are spending is unsustainable. LaHood lectured legislators to… 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
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 need to ultimately build the port… 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

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Deen Day Smith, Chairman of the Board, Cecil B. Day Investment Company more quotes