Tag: Transit

Friday Facts: June 14, 2013

June 14, 2013  It’s Friday!  Today is Flag Day. Do you know the proper way to handle the American Flag? Find out here: hwww.usa-flag-site.org/etiquette.shtmlQuotes of Note “The Federal government will not start or carry on any commercial activity to provide a service or product for its own use if such product or service can be procured from private enterprise through ordinary business channels.” – Bureau of the Budget Bulletin 55-4, January 15, 1955 “The greatest [calamity] which could befall [us would be] submission to a government of unlimited powers.” – Thomas Jefferson “There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent… View Article
By Matthew Click Today, states across the country face the daunting challenge of providing reliable transportation alternatives in their metropolitan areas. Urban congestion results in wasted fuel and time for people and puts American businesses at a disadvantage when compared to their global competitors.  While urban transit options help some people commute to work, and freight railroads keep goods moving, the vast majority of Americans drive their cars to work and the vast majority of goods are distributed by trucks. Moving into the future, transit and freight railroads will continue to play an important role, but the overwhelming majority of economic activity in urban areas will depend on roadways – a simple and undeniable statistical fact. Fortunately, there is a… View Article

Friday Facts: June 7, 2013

 June 7, 2013  It’s Friday!  Quotes of Note “Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” – Daniel Webster  “The ‘private sector’ of the economy is, in fact, the voluntary sector; and … the ‘public sector’ is, in fact, the coercive sector.”  – Henry Hazlitt  “Georgia Tech’s online degree, powered by Udacity, is such a game-changer. For the same $7,000 a year that New York City… View Article
By Baruch Feigenbaum Baruch FeigenbaumSenior FellowGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Discussions are resuming in the Southeast about a high-speed rail corridor. Unfortunately, the  evidence suggests that high-speed rail’s limited success in Europe and Asia is not transferrable to the United States. From a financial standpoint, things don’t look good. The majority of high-speed rail lines require large government subsidies from both general taxpayers and drivers. Even with generous subsidies, traveling by high-speed rail is still more expensive than flying for 12 of the 23 most popular high-speed rail routes in the world. The evidence suggests that high-speed rail can only be competitive on routes that are 200-to 500 miles in length. High-speed rail is also very expensive to build. Most new… View Article

Technology and Transportation, a Win-Win Move

By Benita M. Dodd Four years ago, Steve Dickerson wrote a commentary for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, “Five Ways Technology Can Transform Transportation.” He pointed out, “The information technology wave is engulfing nearly all productive activities, based on the ever cheaper and capable power of computing and communications. Transportation modes, too, can benefit from the efficiencies of the technologies of cellular communications with global positioning systems (GPS) and Bluetooth.” “Commuters would subscribe to a cellular-based transportation support system much as with their current telephone and energy utilities, running an appropriate transportation application on their phone. What can be accomplished? 1.      Passengers can know with near certainty the arrival time of a shared vehicle. 2.      Passengers can arrange… View Article

Friday Facts: May 17, 2013

 May 17, 2013  It’s Friday!  The Friday Facts is the Foundation’s most popular product, with more than 5,000 subscribers across the state. Have you shared the Friday Facts with YOUR friends and colleagues yet? Invite them to sign up on our home page for their own copy! Quotes of Note “[P]erhaps it would make more sense if our planners, and some developers, would awake from their dogmatic slumbers. Their job should be to facilitate the quality of life that people seek, not to tell them how to live. That means admitting that the future of both America and, particularly, Southern California, is likely to remain largely suburban for years to come.” – Joel Kotkin “[White House Press Secretary] Jay… View Article

Gaming the System for Transit Funds

There’s been a massive decline in senior bus passengers in Luzerne County, Pa., after allegations in July 2012 that bus drivers were counting “ghost riders” to increase state funding. Drivers manually log senior riders, who must produce a senior transit ID card or Medicare card. Each senior rider means about 30 cents in funds for the authority from the state lottery system. Senior ridership was counted at 71,754 in June 2012, dropped to 30,535 in January and was 22,101 in April. The county transportation authority’s executive director said bus drivers were miscounting and double- and triple-counting seniors. The state transportation department is investigating. Meanwhile, future ridership numbers are expected to be accurate because automated counters are being installed on all… View Article

A Not-so-August Vote in St. Augustine, Fla.

By Benita M. Dodd Benita Dodd,Vice President, Georgia PublicPolicy Foundation The City Commission of St. Augustine, Fla., voted 4-1 Monday night in favor of proposed commuter rail service between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, Fla. According to a presentation by the Jacksonville Transit Authority, the federal government (i.e., you and I) would most likely be willing to fund half of the project. The Jacksonville-St. Augustine leg is estimated to cost $171.7 million. The state, county and city would have to provide the rest. Casting the lone dissenting vote, Commissioner Donald Crichlow said the cost would be more than he was willing to absorb. “I just don’t think that’s where I want to put my tax dollars,” he said, according to the… View Article
Streetcar costs are climbing, and not just in Atlanta. A reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer sought the Foundation’s analysis of rising costs after a $17.4 million budget gap for that city’s controversial streetcar project was announced — and planners warned it won’t be the last increase. Among the problems in Atlanta’s case, “Nobody had an accurate indication of the underground infrastructure,” said Benita Dodd, vice president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, an Atlanta-based think tank. “Now, there’s a huge battle as to who’s going to pay for that” cost overrun. http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130513/NEWS/305130021 View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx is President Obama’s new pick for U.S. Transportation Secretary to replace Ray LaHood. But advocates for mobility and congestion relief shouldn’t expect much of that. As one pleased Foxx supporter put it, “He understands that rail transit, public transit, drives economic development. The goal of any transportation system, especially rail transit, is not to move people. That is not the goal. The goal is economic development at the stations.” And as Randal O’Toole of the Cato Institute blogged yesterday, “Obama’s New Transportation Chief Wants Streetcars for Everyone.” “America’s transportation system will continue to grind to a halt under President Obama’s pick for transportation secretary, Anthony Foxx.,” Randal wrote,… View Article

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Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2011) more quotes