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Quotations relating to traffic and transportation:

 

A word from the FTA: “Many commenters reiterated their concern that the Project will not relieve highway congestion in Honolulu. FTA agrees, but the purpose of the Project is to provide an alternative to the use of congested highways for many travelers. This alternative to the use of highways is especially important for households that cannot afford an automobile for every person in the household who travels for work or for other reasons.”

In fact, projections suggest that traffic conditions will be worse in 2030 under any circumstances [studied in the EIS]. The Alternatives Analysis supports this statement as does the analysis of transportation impacts in the Final EIS. The comparison that is key to the Project is that rail will improve conditions compared to what they would be if the Project is not built.”
http://hymskdr.cn/Total_ROD.pdf
page 210 of 217.

 

"In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment. If people knew the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved." Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. August 12, 2013, p; A15. Wall Street Journal.

The all time quote about rail supporters from Houston's Mayor Lanier:
“First they say, `It's cheaper.'  When you show it costs more, they say, ` It's faster.'  When you show it's slower, they say, `It serves more riders.'  When you show there are fewer riders, they say, `It brings economic development.'  When you show no economic development, they say, `It helps the image.'  When you say you don't want to spend that much money on image, they say, `It will solve the pollution problem.'  When you show it won't help pollution, they say, finally, `It will take time. You’ll see.” Bob Lanier, before becoming Mayor of Houston quoted in Houston Metropolitan Magazine,  November 1990, page 49.

Here's what Mayor Harris wrote in the city's Progress Report #3 somewhere around 2000:

"At the same time, previous proposals for a grade-separated rail transit system in Honolulu deeply divided the community and would have required massive capital investments. It is increasingly clear that our best path to better mobility on Oahu is to improve our highway infrastructure as much as we can and build on our very successful bus service to improve and expand public transit. With cutting edge technologies and innovative operational systems, we can make big improvements at an affordable cost."

 

Adam Smith. 1776:

"The proud minister of an ostentatious court may frequently take pleasure in executing a work of splendour and magnificence, such as a great highway, which is frequently seen by the principal nobility, whose applause not only flatter his vanity, but even contribute to support his interest at court. But execute a great number of little works, in which nothing that can be done can make any great appearance, or excite the smallest degree of admiration in any traveller, and which, in short, have nothing to recommend them but their extreme utility, is a business which appears in every respect too mean and paultry to merit the attention of so great a magistrate. Under such an administration, therefore, such works are almost always entirely neglected."

 

Councilmember Gary Okino in a February 2006 letter to constituents, "City and State officials are working to make fixed rail in Honolulu a reality. Building a rail system will not eliminate today's traffic congestion, but it will provide a convenient and effective alternative for those wishing to bypass highway gridlock in the future.  READ MORE

 

From Alan Pisarski, author of Commuting in America: "If your transportation goals can be met by everyone staying home you have the wrong goals!"

 

 Transportation Secretary Mineta said in a recent press release,   “The real solution is not reducing traffic to fit capacity,” Mineta said. “We must expand capacity to handle the growing traffic.” It is really a shame that this advice he is offering about air transportation, he does not offer for surface transportation — certainly the principle is exactly the same. That is, supply = demand when the price is free to follow market forces.

Parsons Brinckerhoff: “The light rail transit alternative was dropped because subsequent analyses revealed that Bus/Rapid Transit using electric-powered vehicles could accomplish virtually all of the objectives of  light rail transit at substantially less cost.” MIS/Draft EIS of the Honolulu Bus/Rapid Transit Program, August 2000. pp. 2-2 to 2-4. Prepared by Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas.

 

October 14, 2007, the Seattle Times came out in strong opposition to Proposition 1, the region's major transportation proposal. Of rail transit the paper editorialized that it, "spends huge amounts of money to make congestion worsen at a slightly lesser rate. Seattle may deny this, but the surest way to reduce congestion on roads is to build more lanes. So says a report issued by State Auditor Brian Sontag last week, and so says human experience. New roads help."

    "Much more could be done with bus service, particularly if high-occupancy lanes are kept flowing by the smart use of tolls. Light rail replaces buses, and at a much higher cost per rider. Rail soaks up money buses might have used. Rail funnels transit. Buses extend it. And most rail riders will be people who were already riding the bus."

     And of Transit Oriented Development, the editorial continues, "The farsighted ones say light rail is about changing the way we live. It is about increasing density, levering us into apartments around rail stations. If we live next to rail, we will drive less and help save the Earth. It is a fetching, utopian vision, but it is not so easy to change the way Americans live."

     "Consider Portland. That city opened its first light-rail line two decades ago, and has built several of them, all of which replaced bus lines. Overall, Greater Portland is no less car-dependent than Seattle. Its congestion has gotten worse, just as it has here. Many Portlanders are proud of light rail, but the last three times new light-rail plans have been on the ballot in the Portland area, the people rejected them.

     "Maybe they learned something."

      Today's Seattle Times editorial is a very important event. To our knowledge it is the first time a major U.S. daily has opposed a rail transit line. For those of us who have spent the last 20 years waiting for the major dailies to wake up to rail transit's problems, it is a very gratifying moment.  READ MORE

"We wish we had never started the whole thing. Fixed rail is not the answer to the transportation needs of our city. We should stop all this insanity that has gone on these past years." — Richard Riordan, mayor of Los Angeles, on the public radio program, "Which Way LA?," June 1998.

"(This) comparison of person moving capacities for variousU.S. rail and HOV projects...appears to cut through the myth that HOV facilities (e.g. busways) do not have the person carrying equivalent of rail lines.  Both modes can serve the person carrying capacity needs of about any corridor inNorth America."  Charles A. Fuhs.  High Occupancy Vehicle Facilities.  Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas.  December 1990.

Gabriel Roth: "Most U.S. road systems are like relics of the former Soviet Union: socialist enterprises run by well-intentioned planners with no regard to the pricing and investment criteria that allocate goods and services in free societies. Moscow citizens got relief from food lines by abolishing socialism. The market economy could similarly liberate road users from excessive congestion. If we recognize “road space” as a scarce resource, charge market prices for this resource, and use the revenues to stimulate investment in new capacity—such as additional lanes or new technologies to speed traffic past bottlenecks—congestion could be reduced."

Alternatives

"Commuters choose among available transport modes mostly on the basis of comparative money costs and time costs of the total commute trip, door-to-door.  Other attributes, such as comfort and privacy, are trivial as compared with expenditures of dollars and minutes.  Commuters charge up the time spent in waiting for and getting into a vehicle at several times the rate they apply to travel inside a moving vehicle.  This means that the closer a vehicle comes to both a commuter's house and workplace, the more likely he is to use that vehicle rather than some other.  It also means that the fewer the number of transfers between vehicles, the better"
Dr. Melvin Webber, UC Berkeley.
  Address to the Governor's Conference on Videotex, Transportation and Energy Conservation.  Hawaii State Dept. of Planning and Economic Development.  July 1984.

Alternatives

"I'm convinced that the single most important cause of BART's shortcomings was the failure to realize that it's the door-to-door, no-wait, no-transfer features of the automobile that make up the choice for most travelers; not its high speed, not its privacy, not its comfort, not its status; that public transit system which is most capable of collecting commuters near their homes and delivering them near their jobs without waits and without transfers has the highest odds of competing with the car.  At this time in history, that system is some sort of variant on the bus.  At great cost, the Bay Area is learning that it is not a feeder bus linked to a mainline track system.  I'm inclined to conclude that a high quality bus service, supplemented by a high-quality paratransit service would have the best odds of accomplishing what we in the Bay Area were seeking to accomplish back in the '60s.
Seminar on Urban Mass Transit (transcript).
  Office of the Legislative Auditor, State ofHawaii.  January 1978.  Dr. Melvin Webber, Director, Institute of Urban and Regional Development, UC-Berkeley.

Alternatives

"Since a bus handles about 40 people in the space of about 2.5 automobiles, the existence or nonexistence of rival rail facilities is not a major consideration in traffic congestion."
Hilton, George W. Rail Transport and the Pattern of Modern Cities: TheCalifornia Case. Traffic Quarterly, vol. XXI, no. 3. July 1967. pp. 379-380.

Alternatives

"So it is important that an alternative mass urban transport system be capable of serving small numbers of persons having the same combinations of origins, destinations, and schedules.  It has to be capable of collecting them virtually at their doors, on time, and then transporting them form wherever they are directly to wherever they want to go.  That is to say, it must be capable of providing random access, just the way the telephone network connects everywhere to everywhere -- directly and on demand.  Those are the very attributes that make automobiles attractive.  They must also become the attributes of public transit systems.  It public transit is to compete with private cars, it must do so on the car's own terms.  That means, among other things, that future public transit must employ small vehicles that are able to carry those small groups of travelers who share the combinations of origins, destinations, and schedules.
Dr. Melvin Webber, UC Berkeley.
  Address to the Governor's Conference on Videotex, Transportation and Energy Conservation.  Hawaii State Dept. of Planning and Economic Development.  July 1984.

Autos

"Ordinary people seldom ranged any distance from home; if they did, they had to go by some form of public conveyance, provided it was available,or they walked. This is where the automobile had been an instrument of social revolution, first in theUnited States and now extending throughout the world. Perhaps this social revolution explains the distaste of so many self-appointed "elite" groups for the automobile,or more accurately for automobile ownership by people other than themselves. "It is one thing to profess concern for the common man but quite another to have to accept him on terms of actual equality."
Rae, John B. The Road and the Car in American Life. MIT Press. 1971.

Autos

"(The automobiles) gift of mobility itself — not mobility as a dollar-spreading device or a mechanical substitute for personal movement, but as direct enhancement of life, as an enlargement of life's boundaries and opportunities...It is nothing less than the unshackling of the age-old bonds of locality; it is the grant of geographic choice and economic freedom on a hitherto unimagined scale."  
de Voto, Bernard. TheAmerican Road in Freedom of TheAmerican Road. Ford Motor Company. 1956. p. 8.

Autos

"The automobile itself is so exasperatingly convenient that it drives the transportation inventors almost mad trying to devise competitive substitutes."
Holmes,Edward M. Highway in Our Future. Traffic Engineering. May 1961. p. 34.

Autos

"Yet, although the common man was the principal beneficiary of the automotive revolution, this was not a case of the poor man coming to enjoy a luxury formerly limited to the rich. The rich themselves had never enjoyed anything like this before." 
Rae, John B. The Road and the Car in American Life. MIT Press. 1971.

Autos

The auto came "...to free the common man from the limits of his geography."
Rae, John B. The Road and the Car in American Life. MIT Press.

BART

"BART also seems to have accelerated residential development in certain outlying areas previously perceived as beyond commuting distance toSan Francisco."  John R. Meyer and Jose Gomez-Ibanez. Autos, Transit and Cities.Harvard University Press. 1981.  p. 118.

BART

"In the original BART plan, it was anticipated that fare-box revenues would cover all operating expenses and the capital costs of the rolling stock (the rest of the capital was to be paid through property taxes). In practice, fare-box revenues covered only one-third of the operating expenses and made no contribution to capital costs."
John R. Meyer and Jose Gomez-Ibanez. Autos, Transit and Cities.Harvard University Press. 1981.
  p. 45.

Busway Alternatives

"(This) comparison of person moving capacities for variousU.S. rail and HOV projects...appears to cut through the myth that HOV facilities (e.g. busways) do not have the person carrying equivalent of rail lines.  Both modes can serve the person carrying capacity needs of about any corridor inNorth America."
Charles A. Fuhs.
  High Occupancy Vehicle Facilities.  Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas.  December 1990.

Busway Alternatives

"...(busways) permit the operation of high-volume, reliable service at a cost far less than new rail construction...what might be an undesirable two-transfer ride on rail system (auto to rail to walk/bus/subway) could be a no-or one-transfer ride on a bus/HOV system."
U.S. Department of Transportation.
  National Transportation Strategic Planning Study. 1989. p.12-17

Busway Alternatives

"A number of busways, bus priority lanes and contraflow bus lanes have attracted and carry tremendous amounts of traffic.  TheShirley Highway busway carries more people into and out of theWashington region's urban core during rush hours than any of the several rapid rail lines that serveWashington.  TheExpress Bus Lane intoNew York carries more people across theHudson during rush hours than any other single facility, despite the fact that it is only one lane.
All these busways carry more people per lane than a conventional expressway traffic lane.
  Busways can avoid the tremendous expense of widening urban freeways.  In some cases, where widening is impractical, converting lanes to busways can increase overall carrying capacity.
Busways also reduce transit operating cost.
  They make van and carpools more attractive.  Pool vehicles require no public operating funds and can reduce peak bus requirements.  Direct bus operating costs are reduced by increasing operating speeds and reducing maintenance cost for brakes and other components that suffer less wear and tear on busways than in congested mixed traffic.  Busways also encourage competitive provision of transit services since different bus operators may use the same busway."
U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
  The Status of the Nation's Local Mass Transportation; Performance and Condition. Dept. of Transportation - UMTA. 1988.

Busway Alternatives

"TheShirley Highway busway carries more people into and out of theWashington region's urban core during rush hours than any of the several rapid rail lines that serveWashington.  TheExpress Bus Lane intoNew York carries more people across theHudson during rush hours than any other single facility, despite the fact that it is only one lane.  Busways...make van and carpools more attractive.  Busways also encourage competitive provision of transit services since different bus operators may use the same busway."
U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
  The Status of the Nation's Local Mass Transportation; Performance and Condition. Dept. of Transportation - UMTA. 1988.

Commuting

"There is growing evidence from time-valuation studies and consumer surveys that mostU.S. commuters do not "resent" commuter trips as long as they are less than about 30 minutes in length. This suggests a considerable degree of satisfaction in most cities with existing urban transportation capabilities (in spite of the understandable grumbling whenever actual traffic congestion is encountered)."
John R. Meyer and Jose Gomez-Ibanez. Autos, Transit and Cities.Harvard University Press. 1981.
  p. 105.

CongestionHawaii

"Regardless of how good a mass transit system is developed forHonolulu, no private cars will be taken off the highways, and the vehicle population will continue to increase."
Hawaii Dept of Transportation. Report to the 9th Legislature Relating to the Statewide Transportation Council.
  December 1977. p.7.

Energy

"In view of the limited energy conservation potential of rail rapid transit and the enormous capital costs of such systems, expenditure of federal funds on these systems for purposes of energy conservation appears to be misguided and possibly even counterproductive."  
Congressional Budget Office. Urban Transportation and Energy: The Potential Savings of Different Modes. December 1977.

 Energy

"Of all the commonly held notions about energy efficiency, probably the most misguided are those concerning rapid rail transit. The findings of this study indicate that, under typical conditions, new rapid rail systems actually waste energy rather than save it."
Congressional Budget Office. Urban Transportation and Energy: The Potential Savings of Different Modes. December 1977.

Environmental Concerns.

"[The Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement] does not comply with the State ofHawai'i's environmental laws as described by Chapter 200 of Title 11 EIS rules."
Letter to Gov. Waihee.
  University ofHawaii Environmental Center.  May 7. 1992.

Environmental Concerns.

"[The Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement] inadequately describes the significant impact of the visual resources of the various stations and important view planes.  The station descriptions should be further elaborated and photographic or computer generated montages should be provided for the significant views surrounding each station."
Letter to Gov. Waihee.
  University ofHawaii Environmental Center.  May 7. 1992.

Federal Approvals

"...somebody expressed yesterday...that the federal government...won't approve bad work, suspicious work, or shoddy work.  Well, let me assure you that the federal government does it repeatedly.  Very few times has the federal government turned anybody down...Don't take their stamp of approval as an indication that the work is worth going by, because they don't have to live with it.  You do.
Seminar on Urban Mass Transit (transcript).
  Office of the Legislative Auditor, State ofHawaii.  January 1978.  Dr. Andrew Hamer,Dept. of Economics,Georgia State University.

Free Enterprise

"...incorporate private services into the City's...transportation network where conventional mass transit does not adequately accommodate riders' needs.  The private transportation sector is large, popular, and growing.  It should be viewed as a valuable resource and not as an unwelcome intruder to be eliminated."
The Private Sector in Public Transportation inNew York City.
  Institute for Transportation Systems -City University ofNew York.  January 1991.  Proposal to NYC Transit Authority, prepared for UMTA.

Financial Concerns

"...transit costs have increased faster than either farebox revenue or the rate of inflation throughout the two decades of government involvement...This performance is typical of the performance of other noncompetitive transportation modes, such as the railroads, when government regulation protected them from economic competition.  In such environments, the normal disciplines of the economic marketplace do not exist since increasing costs can either be assumed by government subsidies or passed on to the consumer in the form of higher fares."  
U.S. Department of Transportation.
  National Transportation Strategic Planning Study. 1989.  p. 12-17.

Financial Concerns

"In the field of Public Economics...the use of economic multipliers has been largely discredited because although they count secondary benefits, they do not count secondary costs.  Peat Marwick's use of input/output analysis to estimate multipliers is wholly unacceptable to public economists.  If there are any multiplier benefits, they are very small.  Benefits are very unlikely to exceed costs."
Members of the Department of Economics andCollege ofBusiness -University ofHawaii at Manoa.
  Memorandum to Members of the Council, City & County ofHonolulu. September 8, 1992.

Financial Concerns

"So if I can switch now to the subject of costs, I want to say...that consultants generally do a darn poor job of estimating the cost of rapid transit systems...But...if you look at the...Baltimore system, the Atlanta system, the costs aren't being exceeded any more.  We know how to control them.
Seminar on Urban Mass Transit (transcript).
  Office of the Legislative Auditor, State ofHawaii.  January 1978.  Richard Bouchard, Vice President, Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall. pp. 37-39.

Forecasting Ridership

"Daily patronage forecasts...14-mile fixed guideway system with  feeder... 1995 ... 473,000...What can be said about these forecasts?...they're very conservative."
Seminar on Urban Mass Transit (transcript).
  Office of the Legislative Auditor, State ofHawaii.  January 1978.  Richard Bouchard, Vice President, Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall. pp. 37-39.

Forecasting Ridership

"Inevitably, a long-term forecast has a high probable error attached.  No single-figure forecast in reasonable.  Al forecasts should be expressed as a range of prospects; and they should be explicit about the odds of their being wrong...I must confess that, having been personally responsible for creating some of them in the early BART-design days, I speak to you with some familiarity and very considerable humility.  In turn, having lived through the high optimism of the BART system during its early design to its currently disappointing shortfalls from its forecasts, I commend a skeptical mind-set to all of you: forecasts are not facts about the future."
Seminar on Urban Mass Transit (transcript).
  Office of the Legislative Auditor, State ofHawaii.  January 1978.  Dr. Melvin Webber, Director, Institute of Urban and Regional Development, UC-Berkeley.

Forecasting Ridership

"People who design these systems come to believe in them as they rightfully should.  They sort of invest themselves in the them.  Typically they're engineers who like to build things.  I think that's a very important characteristic to bear in mind."
Seminar on Urban Mass Transit (transcript).
  Office of the Legislative Auditor, State ofHawaii.  January 1978.  Dr. John Kain, Chairman, Dept. of City and Regional Planning,Harvard University.

Forecasting Ridership

"The second reason we overpredicted BART usage is that we did not account for the fact that people really dislike walking for more than ten minutes...We predicted 12 times as many people would take BART by walking to BART than actually did...Less than 1 percent of the workers chose to go to work by BART by walking to BART.
Seminar on Urban Mass Transit (transcript).
  Office of the Legislative Auditor, State ofHawaii.  January 1978.  Dr. Kenneth Train, Senior Economist,Cambridge Systematics,Berkeley,California.

Forecasting Ridership

"We have little faith in the projected ridership and cost figures."
University ofHawaii faculty members. Memorandum to Members of the Council, City & County ofHonolulu. November 7, 1991.

Free enterprise

"...incorporate private services into the City's...transportation network where conventional mass transit does not adequately accommodate riders' needs.  The private transportation sector is large, popular, and growing.  It should be viewed as a valuable resource and not as an unwelcome intruder to be eliminated."
Institute for Transportation Systems -City University ofNew York. The Private Sector in Public Transportation inNew York City.
  January 1991.  Proposal to NYC Transit Authority, prepared for UMTA.

Free enterprise

"...incorporate private services into the City's...transportation network where conventional mass transit does not adequately accommodate riders' needs.  The private transportation sector is large, popular, and growing.  It should be viewed as a valuable resource and not as an unwelcome intruder to be eliminated."
Institute for Transportation Systems -City University ofNew York.
  The Private Sector in Public Transportation inNew York City.  January 1991.  Proposal to NYC Transit Authority, prepared for UMTA.

Free Enterprise

"...UMTA is obligated to ensure that local decision makers fully and fairly consider the private sectors capacity to provide needed transportation services.  Private providers should be given opportunity to present their views concerning the development of local transportation plans and programs and to offer their own service proposals for consideration."

The Status of the Nation's Local Public Transportation: Conditions and Performance. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to Congress. June 1987.

Free Enterprise

"Deregulation and supportive public policies are essential toward stimulating a new commercial transit market...Deregulation would allow shared-ride taxis, private shuttle vans, jitneys, and commuter buses to compete for parts of the transit market now largely monopolized by public bus operators.  While controls over safety, driver qualifications, and operating policies will always be necessary, there is no compelling reason why market entry, price, and vehicle occupancy restrictions should be placed on taxi, paratransit, and private bus operators.  Such regulations impose an inefficient uniformity on the market and remove the incentive to innovate and respond to changing market conditions.  Fare and service-quality restrictions lead to homogenous services.  They also lead to uniform prices that do not vary by time, parts of city,or radio-dispatch versus cruising services), thus limiting cost recovery.  Past experiences with taxi deregulation in San Diego, Oakland, Seattle and Portland show that customers are usually rewarded with more travel options and improved services (shorter average waits, new and better maintained vehicles), at roughly the same fares as before.

Deregulation's potential for spawning a rich mix of different types of urban transportation services is especially promising.  Studies consistently show that commuters are far more sensitive to the quality of transportation services than price or anything else--that is, they are most likely to switch modes when given dramatic changes in travel times or comfort levels.  Factors such as reliability of schedules, assurances of a seat, transfer time, and availability of temperature control have proven to be key determinants of what modes travelers choose.  A loosely regulated urban transportation sector offers the best chance of attracting the kinds of high-quality services that can successfully compete with the private automobile, especially for the inter-suburban commutes."

Robert R. Cervero, UC Berkeley. Fostering Commercial Transit:  Alternatives in GreaterLos Angeles.  Reason Foundation - Policy Insight #146.  September 1992.

Free Enterprise

"It is UMTA policy that when new service needs are developed,or services are significantly restructured, consideration should be given to whether private carriers could provide such service in a manner which is consistent with local objectives and without public subsidy.  Moreover, existing transit services should be periodically reviewed to determine if they can be provided more efficiently by the private sector.  Public officials should examine possible adjustments in local regulation or existing service requirements in order to permit private carriers to perform service without subsidy in the free market."

The Status of the Nation's Local Public Transportation: Conditions and Performance. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to Congress. June 1987.

Free Enterprise

"Laws and rules governing urban transportation have been built up, layer by layer, to the point where they represent serious obstacles to innovation.  A Byzantine network of local, regional, and state authorities has evolved for administering and enforcing these regulations.  Excessive bureaucracy has meant reduced efficiency and effectiveness and has also precluded any kind of integrated, coordinated commercial transit and paratransit sector from emerging.  At both the local and state levels, present-day controls should be repealed to allow freer market entry."

Cervero, Robert R. UC Berkeley.  Fostering Commercial Transit:  Alternatives in GreaterLos Angeles.  Reason Foundation - Policy Insight #146.  September 1992.

Free Enterprise

"Less than 20 years ago, in most countries... transportation...was among the most socialized industries in the world....The need for flexible, responsive transportation systems in the new competitive environment forced change that has resulted in a shift to the private sector and to more market-responsive institutions."

U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  National Transportation Strategic Planning Study.  1989. p.6-15.

Free Enterprise

"The major obstacles impeding private provision of transit are...the commingling of authority to set local transportation objectives and responsibility to provide transit services.  The other is the monopoly tradition...The principal obstacle to more competition in the provision of mass transit services is the fusion of policy making and service provision into a single area wide agency...Much remains to be done in removing these and related obstacles.  Paramount in importance, however, is for local elected officials, planners and taxpayers to recognize the rewards of competition in the provision of transit services."

The Status of the Nation's Local Public Transportation: Conditions and Performance. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to Congress. June 1987.

Free Enterprise

"The term' urban mass transportation'...is transportation by bus,or rail,or other conveyance, either publicly or privately owned, which provides to the public general or special service...on a regular and continuing basis."

Urban Mass Transportation Administration. The Status of the Nation's Local Mass Transportation:  Performance and Conditions - Report to Congress. June 1988.

Free Enterprise

"The virtual universal buy-out of private transit operators was complete by the early 1970's, financed largely by UMTA grants, which simply reinforced the monopoly structure.  From an economic standpoint, the same risks of bloated costs, technological obsolescence market insensitivity, and inflexibility exist regardless of whether an enterprise is a private monopoly or a public monopoly.  In both cases the public lacks a benchmark for comparing costs or quality of service.  A monopoly operator is protected from the pressures of a competitive marketplace that can normally be expected to assure maximum efficiency, productivity, and innovation.

The Status of the Nation's Local Public Transportation: Conditions and Performance. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to Congress. June 1987.

Free Enterprise

"UMTA does not consider it acceptable for localities to foreclose opportunities for private enterprise by simply pointing to local barriers to their involvement in federally assisted local transportation programs.  In general, a simple reference in the public record to public agency labor agreements or a local policy that calls for direct operation of all mass transportation providers, would not satisfy the private enterprise requirements of the Act."

The Status of the Nation's Local Public Transportation: Conditions and Performance. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to Congress. June 1987.

Free Enterprise.

"...transit operating costs have increased faster than either farebox revenue or the rate of inflation throughout the   two decades of government involvement...This performance is typical of the performance of other non-competitive transportation modes, such as the railroads, when government regulations protected them from economic competition.  In such environments, the normal disciplines of the economic marketplace do not exist since increasing costs can either be assumed by government subsidies or passed on to the consumer in the form of higher fares."

U.S. Department of Transportation.  National Transportation Strategic Planning Study. 1989.

Free Enterprise.

"Effective management of our urban transportation systems -- upon which the effectiveness of public transit depends -- requires the presence of local political will to apply market principles throughout   transportation systems, across all modes."

Public Transportation in theUnited States: Performance and Condition. Report to Congress. Urban Mass Transportation Administration.  February 1991.

Free Enterprise.

"It is Federal transportation policy to bring the principles of market competition to bear in public transportation and enlist the private sector in solving urban transportation problems

MovingAmerica: New Directions, New Opportunities.  A Statement of National Transportation Policy.  U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  February 1990.

Free Enterprise.

"One of the greatest opportunities for improving transportation efficiency and service in the future lies in allowing market forces to work, minimizing government intervention, and increasing flexibility for the private sector."

MovingAmerica: New Directions, New Opportunities.  A Statement of National Transportation Policy.  U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  February 1990.

Free Enterprise.

"There are...many State and local barriers to private participation in transportation projects.  It is Federal policy to minimize legal and regulatory barriers to private participation in...transportation...services ...[and to] continue efforts to increase private sector involvement in mass transit operations..."

MovingAmerica: New Directions, New Opportunities.  A Statement of National Transportation Policy.  U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  February 1990.

Future of Transit

"Increasing numbers of local officials are questioning the logic of traditional transportation arrangements...What has triggered this re-appraisal are not just local fiscal stringencies and reduced Federal dollars, but a growing sense that the market for conventional transit service is progressively diminishing."

Dr. C. Kenneth Orski, Corporation for Urban Mobility.  Address to the Governor's Conference on Videotex, Transportation and Energy Conservation.  Hawaii State Dept. of Planning and Economic Development.  July 1984.

Gridlock

"Generally, traffic congestion is somewhat self-regulating.  Motorists alter their routes to avoid known bottlenecks, schedule discretionary trips to avoid congested periods of the day, switch to transit for downtown work trips and even relocate homes, jobs and other activities to maintain a tolerable travel time."

Public Transportation in theUnited States: Performance and Condition. Report to Congress. Urban Mass Transportation Administration.  February 1991.

Jitneys

"In a country constantly extolling the virtue of free enterprise, is surprising how often we prevent entrepreneurs from operating, and this trend is quite noticeable in city transit."

Farmer, Richard N. Whatever happened to the Jitney? Traffic Quarterly, Vol. XIX. 1965.

Jitneys

"It must be emphasized that it is far easier to try the jitney system than to do research on possible results."

Farmer, Richard N. Whatever happened to the Jitney? Traffic Quarterly, Vol. XIX. 1965.

Jitneys

"We tend at times to think too big in this urban passenger area." 

Farmer, Richard N. Whatever Happened to the Jitney? Traffic Quarterly, Vol. XIX. 1965.

Jitneys

Last night's public hearing packed the court room to the doors...dominated by (jitney) bus patrons who rushed to the defense of the (jitney) company praising that service, the courtesy of the drivers and insisting upon (its) right to do business as a rival to the long established (streetcars). 

Those who spoke included Charles Maeschke, a civilian employee at Pearl Harbor,; Ernest L. Graves of the Mutual Telephone Company; Joseph Capsan, an electrician; Peter Church, Dr. James Kondo, Mrs. Elizabeth N. Mann, A.H. Wong, Charles Borad, Salvador Vidal and Merlin McGraw, a teacher at McKinley high school.  The foregoing stated that Rosé service was needed not only for competition, but because of late running and better service on routes the HR did not parallel.

Honolulu Star Bulletin. "Rosé Patrons Defend Bus Service." May 7, 1940.

Mass Transit

"Mass transit is defined as transportation by bus,or rail,or other conveyance, either publicly or privately owned, which provides to the public general or special service...on a regular and continuing basis."

U.S. Dept. of Transportation. The Status of the Nation's Local Mass Transportation: Performance and Conditions. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to theU.S. Congress. June 1987.

Mass Transit

"Some form of mass transit will have to be developed to meet transportation demands created by limited accommodation of the automobile.  The system that is finally adopted should be one which will lend itself readily to incremental planning.  Grand schemes, such as BART, should be considered suspect from an economic point of view.  The BART system, which was supposed to be finished in 1971 for one billion dollars and be self-supporting, is still not completed, will cost in the neighborhood of two or more billion dollars, and already has been acknowledged as an economic failure.  Recently, a sales tax had to be levied on the residents served by BART to bail it out of financial difficulty.  There is every reason to believe that the tax will be needed indefinitely in order to continue its operation.  Given the history of cost overruns with such systems,Honolulu should not be too hasty in committing itself to any such system at this time."

Interdepartmental Transportation Control Commission, Office of the Governor, State ofHawaii. Report to the 9th Legislature. November 1974.  p.10.

Misc.

"The function of the expert is not to be more right than other people, but to be wrong for more sophisticated reasons."

David Butler.  London Observer.  1969.  Quoted in The Cynic's Lexicon.

Misc.

"The mono-rail promises to work wonders in the near future. It is now proposed to adopt it betweenLondon and Brighton andManchester andLiverpool, where Behr’s system claims to attain the high speed of 110 miles an hour." Wilson, Beckles. The Story of Rapid Transit. D. Appleton & Co. 1903. p. 196.

Misc.

 P. 82. Caesar attributed one victory to the subterfuges he was able to make his enemy believe because of, "the general tendency of mankind to wishful thinking."

Julius Caesar. The Conquest ofGaul. Penguin Books.

Misc.

"A chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage."

Herbert Hoover

Misc.

"A fool who persists in his foolishness will become wise."

William Blake.

Misc.

"After doing this duty for some days they grew careless, as generally happens when a routine is continued for any length of time."

Julius Caesar. The Conquest ofGaul. Penguin Books. P. 207.

Misc.

"He believed in the primacy of doubt not as a blemish upon our ability to know but as the essence of knowing.  The alternative to uncertainty is authority, against which science had fought for centuries."

James Gleick. GENIUS - The Life and Science of Richard Feynman. Pantheon Books. 1992.

Misc.

"Most Americans prefer traveling in private vehicles, usually alone, because such travel provides convenience, comfort, privacy, and speed far superior to that of public transit.

Anthony Downs.  Stuck in Traffic: Coping with Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion.  The Brookings Institution. 1992.

Misc.

"Most Americans prefer traveling in private vehicles, usually alone, because such travel provides convenience, comfort, privacy, and speed far superior to that of public transit.

Downs, Anthony.  Stuck in Traffic: Coping with Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion.  The Brookings Institution. 1992.

Misc.

"Passengers commuting between the suburbs and the downtown area are usually more sensitive to service quality than to fares because their trips are long and because they generally have high incomes."

John R. Meyer and Jose Gomez-Ibanez. Autos, Transit and Cities.Harvard University Press. 1981.  p. 61.

Misc.

"Policies that target transit subsidies more effectively may prove politically unattractive, however, partly because they conflict with the motivation to spread benefits widely among constituents."

John R. Meyer and Jose Gomez-Ibanez. Autos, Transit and Cities.Harvard University Press. 1981. p. 251.

Misc.

"Political skill...the ability of foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year.  And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen."

Sir Winston Churchill.  Quoted in The Cynic's Lexicon. 1965.

Misc.

"The man who's packed into a subway, jostled in the street, crowded into an elevator, and forced to work all day in a bull pen or in a small office without auditory or visual privacy is going to be very stressed at the end of his day.  He needs places that provide relief from constant over stimulation of his nervous system.  Stress from overcrowding is cumulative and people can tolerate more crowding early in the day than later; note the increased bad temper during the evening rush hour as compared with the morning melee.  Certainly one factor in people's desire to commute by car is the need for privacy and relief from crowding (except, often, from other cars); it may be the only time of the day when nobody can intrude.

Misc.

"The proud minister of an ostentatious court may frequently take pleasure in executing a work of splendour and magnificence, such as a great highway, which is frequently seen by the principal nobility, whose applause not only flatter his vanity, but even contribute to support his interest at court.  But execute a great number of little works, in which nothing that can be done can make any great appearance,or excite the smallest degree of admiration in any traveller, and which, in short, have nothing to recommend them but their extreme utility, is a business which appears in every respect too mean and paultry to merit the attention of so great a magistrate.  Under such an administration, therefore, such works are almost always entirely neglected."

Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Liberty Fund 1981 (originally published in 1776). P. 729.

Misc.

"To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most."

A. Bloch.  Murphy's Law Book Two (Warren's Rule). 1980.

Misc.

"What foolery lurks latent in the breasts of very sensible people." Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Misc.

”...these Gauls, whom any trifling success made so vainglorious, were just as easily frightened by the slightest reverse."

Julius Caesar. The Conquest ofGaul. Penguin Books. P. 208.

Misc.

"They were men who had no wish to combine with aBritain they thought of a corrupt, decadent and hostile to liberty. "When I consider," wrote Franklin to Galloway, "the extreme corruption prevalent among all orders of men in this old rotten state" with its "numberless and needless places, enormous salaries, pensions, perquisites, bribes, groundless quarrels, foolish expeditions, false accounts or no accounts, contracts and job [that] devour all revenue..." he would fear more mischief than benefit from closer union."

Benjamin Franklin.

Misc.

Taken by surprise, Caesar's forces rallied  and won which he attributed to, "two things - first, the knowledge and experience of the soldiers, whose training in earlier battles enabled them to decide for themselves what needed doing without waiting to be told; secondly, the order which  Caesar had issued to all his generals, not to leave the work, but to stay each with his own legion until the camp fortifications were completed. As the enemy was so close and advancing so swiftly, the general did not wait for further orders but on their own responsibility took the measures they thought proper."

Julius Caesar. The Conquest ofGaul. Penguin Books. P. 67.

Miscellaneous

"It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong."

Voltaire.  quoted in The Cynic's Lexicon.  1925.???

Paratransit

"...about one-fifth of workers take carpools or vanpools to work, making this form of shared transport the preferred national alternative to the drive-alone commute."

New Directions for the Nation's Public Works. Congressional Budget Office. September 1988.

Paratransit

"...paratransit services such as subscription buses (public and private) and other forms of ridesharing will help to reduce peak-hour demands for road space."

The Status of the Nation's Local Public Transportation: Conditions and Performance. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to Congress. September 1984.

Paratransit

"...whatever the number of car-commuters that a rail system will attract, two to four times that number could be expected to use paratransit serving the same areas."

Kevin J. Flannelly, Malcolm S. McLeod, Jr., Laura Flannelly, & Robert W. Behnke.  A Comparison of Commuters' Interest in Using Different Modes of Transportation.  Transportation Research Record (in press). Paper given at Transportation Research Board in January 1991.

Paratransit

"Designated recipients of federal transit block grants at the local level should be non-operating agencies, in order to separate transit policy making from transit operations and ensure objective decisions about who should be the service providers."

Fragile Foundations: A Report onAmerica's Public Works. Final Report to the President and Congress. National Council on Public Works Improvement. February 1988.

Paratransit

"Experience has shown that the success of vanpooling is clearly related to the extent and nature of support given by leaders of the community in the public and private sectors."

Van-GoHawaii - Program Assessment. Report toHawaii Dept. of Transportation. Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. March 1982.

Paratransit

"For central city riders in small cities and for residents of suburban areas where increases in both work and non-work travel is likely, the trip densities are such that the cost per ride for conventional transit is substantially larger than the fare which can reasonably be charged.  New approaches to providing for these markets--probably with a greater reliance on ridesharing and other paratransit modes--may be appropriate."

The Status of the Nation's Local Public Transportation: Conditions and Performance. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to Congress. September 1984.

Paratransit

"In some cities, paratransit services such as subscription buses (public and private) and other forms of ridesharing will help to reduce peak-hour demands for road space--especially for suburb to (downtown) work travel--and permit continued expansion of the central business district.  Using such services to accommodate longer work trips would allow the public transit agency to use its limited resources to better service the demand generated by central city residents."

The Status of the Nation's Local Public Transportation: Conditions and Performance. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to Congress. September 1984.

Paratransit

"Paratransit alternatives can be implemented much more quickly than construction of roads or other systems, are much less expensive and have the potential for a great or greater effect."

Promoting and Implementing Paratransit onOahu. Arthur Young & Co. Prepared for theHawaii State Dept. of Transportation. May 1987.

Paratransit

"Private vanpools and carpools carry about four times the traffic of public transit."

New Directions for the Nation's Public Works. Congressional Budget Office. September 1988.

Paratransit

"The convenience, flexibility and affordability of private automobiles, van and trucks have fostered richly diverse suburban transportation destinations -- so dispersed that they cannot be served economically by conventional mass transit except under special circumstances."

U.S. Dept. of Transportation. The Status of the Nation's Local Mass Transportation: Performance and Conditions. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to theU.S. Congress. June 1987.

Paratransit

"The cost data...suggests that any opportunity to privatize segments of peak period conventional transit service... would produce significant cost and subsidy savings."

The Status of the Nation's Local Public Transportation: Conditions and Performance. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to Congress. September 1984.

Paratransit

"The nearly 500 vanpools on the I-395 [Shirley Highway] HOV lanes -- about 10% of the commuters in the corridor -- represents the best market penetration of vanpools in the nation.  In addition, approximately 18% of all central business district (CBD) bound work trips fromPrince William County, which is served by both the I-95 and I-66 HOV lanes, utilize vanpools."

Lew W. Pratsch, President, Virginia Vanpool Association. 4th National HOV Facilities Conference. TRB Transportation Research Circular #366. December 1990.

Paratransit

"Vanpools are the cheapest form of public transportation.  They are also the most fuel-efficient, and hence less polluting than buses."

New Directions for the Nation's Public Works.  Congressional Budget Office. September 1988.

Parking

"...eliminating free parking is the single most important variable in getting people to switch to ridesharing or transit." 

Richard W. Willson & Donald C. Dr. Shoup, GraduateSchool ofArchitecture and Urban Planning, UCLA.  The Effects of employer-paid parking in downtownLos Angeles.   Prepared for theSouthern California Association of Governments.  May 31, 1990.

Parking

"...over two and a half times as many commuters ride transit to work if their employers do not subsidize parking."

Richard W. Willson & Donald C. Dr. Shoup, GraduateSchool ofArchitecture and Urban Planning, UCLA.  The Effects of employer-paid parking in downtownLos Angeles.   Prepared for theSouthern California Association of Governments.  May 31, 1990. p.16

Parking

"...the availability of inexpensive parking is the most important inducement to commuting by singly occupied automobiles.  Conversely, higher priced parking encourages the use of high-occupancy vehicles.  This is especially true in downtown areas where parking costs tend to be highest, and where public transit and ridesharing programs are most likely to be available.  Subsidizing employee parking lowers vehicle occupancies, reduces the use of transit, carpools and vanpools, and thus increases congestion and delay in the journey to work.  In many cases, companies spend a great deal of money promoting ridesharing among their workers, at the same time discouraging ridesharing by offering them free or reduced rate parking."

Maria Mehranian, Martin Wachs, Donald Dr. Shoup, and Richard Platkin.  Parking Cost and Mode Choices Among Downtown Workers - A Case Study. 

Parking

"...the offer of employer-paid parking in downtownLos Angeles has been shown to increase the number of cars driven to work by 31 percent." 

Richard W. Willson & Donald C. Dr. Shoup, GraduateSchool ofArchitecture and Urban Planning, UCLA.  The Effects of employer-paid parking in downtownLos Angeles.   Prepared for theSouthern California Association of Governments.  May 31, 1990. p. 36.

Parking

"...when commuters pay for their own parking, 24 percent fewer of them drive to work alone." 

Richard W. Willson & Donald C. Dr. Shoup, GraduateSchool ofArchitecture and Urban Planning, UCLA.  The Effects of employer-paid parking in downtownLos Angeles.  Prepared for theSouthern California Association of Governments.  May 31, 1990. p.ii.

Parking

"Of the [Los Angeles] County employees with employer-paid parking, 72 percent drove to work alone, while of the Federal employees without employer-paid parking, only 40 percent drove to work alone.  Thus, the County's offer of employer-paid parking almost doubled the share of its employees who drove to work alone."

Parking Subsidies and Commuter Mode Choice: Assessing the Evidence. Prepared forSouthern California Association of Governments. Richard Willson, Donald Shoup and Martin Wachs.UCLA School of Urban Planning. July 1989.

Parking

"Our research has clearly demonstrated that the cost of parking, previously hidden from many commuters by parking subsidies, profoundly influences commuters' mode choices.  The available option of cash in lieu of a parking subsidy would be a strong incentive to rideshare, ride transit, bicycle,or walk to work." 

Richard W. Willson & Donald C. Dr. Shoup, GraduateSchool ofArchitecture and Urban Planning, UCLA.  The Effects of employer-paid parking in downtownLos Angeles.   Prepared for theSouthern California Association of Governments.  May 31, 1990. p.38

Parking

"Supershuttle considers the parking rate the primary price determinant in its business, where it is the price leader." Ferguson, Tim.

The Way to the Airport Might Be a Shortcut to Work. Wall St. Journal. February 27, 1990. p. A25.

Parking

"When parking becomes fully valued, and not highly subsidized, when all this comes together in some future year, I think you'll start to see, as you see inNew York, Liberty Lines and all these commercial commuting outfits."

Rouse, Mitchell, President, Supershuttle, Inc. quoted in The Way to the Airport Might Be a Shortcut to Work. Wall St. Journal. February 27, 1990. p. A25.

Parking

Studies have shown that eliminating free parking is the single most important variable in getting people to switch to ridesharing or transit.  For example, a study by the Southern California Rapid Transit District in 1987 entitled "Parking Subsidization and Travel Mode Choice" found that charging for parking that was previously free decreased by 44 per cent the percentage of commuters who drove alone inLos Angeles.  The study also notes that after the Canadian Government inOttawa ended free parking in 1975, driving alone decreased 21 percent."

Public Transportation in theUnited States: Performance and Condition. Report to Congress. Urban Mass Transportation Administration.  February 1991.

Parking.

"...local government policies often indirectly lead to subsidized employee parking.  Local zoning codes almost always require the provision of ample parking...However, once the parking is in place, sometimes at a cost of $10,000 a space in structured parking, it will be priced to ensure its use...This means that...the parking will be priced...at a level below the full cost of providing the parking...Developers pass the cost of constructing parking on to tenants who see it as increased rent.  However, employees provided with free parking make their decision to drive or ride transit not on the basis of the true economic cost of each, but rather on the price paid by the employee...it is not surprising that most commuter choose to drive alone to work..."

Public Transportation in theUnited States: Performance and Condition. Report to Congress. Urban Mass Transportation Administration.  February 1991.

Parking.

"...subsidization of public transportation by itself is relatively ineffective in improving vehicle occupancy rates -- largely because of the perceived inconvenience of public transit and carpools, low occupancy auto travel subsidized by fee or low-cost parking, and the absence of highway pricing that correlates to the cost of highway use."

Public Transportation in theUnited States: Performance and Condition. Report to Congress. Urban Mass Transportation Administration.  February 1991.

Parking.

"Free Parking as a Transportation Problem (Shoup and Pickrell - US DOT 1980) [predicted] that 20 percent fewer employees would drive alone to work when they pay to park than when the employer provides free parking."

Parking Subsidies and Commuter Mode Choice: Assessing the Evidence. Prepared forSouthern California Association of Governments. Richard Willson, Donald Shoup and Martin Wachs.UCLA School of Urban Planning. July 1989.

Poor, Elderly& Handicapped
"Improving and subsidizing transportation or other services for disadvantaged persons may be a less efficient public policy than simply giving them added income and allowing them to determine how best to spend this money to improve their lives. Such an approach ensures that government aid issued sued to meet the most pressing needs of the poor, elderly, and handicapped as they themselves perceive their needs. Special service programs have political advantages, however, in that they allow a large number of legislators, elected officials, and organizations that lobby on behalf of the disadvantaged to claim credit for establishing some programs to help. Furthermore, when the Poor, elderly and handicapped lobby for service programs, the local agencies, unions, and professional groups involved in providing the services often join them as allies. A program that simply gives money to disadvantaged persons, in contrast, might have few immediate supporters beyond the disadvantaged.  Finally, programs that would provide income for the disadvantaged raise concerns about undermining incentives to work, while special services are seen as less threatening to the work ethic."

John R. Meyer and Jose Gomez-Ibanez. Autos, Transit and Cities.Harvard University Press. 1981. p. 246.

Politics

"Examining the experience in Houston and Atlanta, we find that transport analysts in these areas reached the conclusion that rail would be cheaper than bus rapid transit because that is what they set out to find."

U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  Increasing the Productivity of the Nation's Urban Transportation Infrastructure.  January 1992. (DOT-T-92-17).

Politics

The decision to pursue a major capital investment, usually a rail project, is often based on the possibility of obtaining Federal discretionary grants.  Local interests persuade their representatives inWashington to "earmark" Federal discretionary capital funds for the local projects.  The investment decision is often not predicated on the merits of the projects nor on the ultimate cost of the projects earmarked.  Rather, it is based on political expediency."

U.S. Dept. of Transportation. The Status of the Nation's Local Mass Transportation: Performance and Conditions. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to theU.S. Congress. June 1987.

Public transportation

"...transit is not an essential public service in any absolute or intrinsic sense. Unlike public education or police protection, there is no universal need for public transportation. It is essential only in those situations where the functions it performs could not be replaced without extreme disruption or excessive cost. Its essentiality is fungible, not absolute."

Jones, David W. Jr. Urban Transit Policy: An Economic and Political History. Prentice-Hall. 1985.  p.11.

Public transportation

"Like any public service, transit costs more than the individual rider can normally afford to pay. Transit promotes urban concentration."

American Public Transit Association. Transit Fact Book 1981

Public transportation

"Transit is an essential public service in the day-to-day life of metropolitanAmerica. It is the most efficient and economical method of moving large numbers of people in often congested urban areas, in doing so transit uses less energy than other modes of transportation, produces less pollution, and reduces traffic congestion. In addition, transit is often the only means of urban transportation available to many urban residents. Public service, however, is the essential role of transit."

American Public Transit Association. Transit Fact Book. 1981

Public transportation

"Transit systems are publicly owned because many of transit's benefits accrue to the public rather than to the transit rider."

American Public Transit Association. Transit Fact Book 1981

Rail transit

"...it has been pretty well demonstrated that rapid transit has increased congestion. We normally have designed rapid transit systems to decrease congestion, but the desire always seems to be to get to the central point. We go there because we have the greater opportunity to get what we want. More people come to the center when we get rapid transit that they did before."

Ernest B. Goodrich, New York City planner, Proceedings of the Eighth National Conference on City Planning, June 5-7, 1915. quoted in Foster, Mark S. From Streetcar to Superhighway:American City Planners and Urban Transportation 1900-1940.Temple University Press. 1981.

Rail transit

"As an irony of ironies, moreover, the main beneficiaries of building high performance facilities were increasingly found in the high-income property owners or suburbanites rather than rank-and-file central-city dwellers." ATC p.11.

Rail Transit

"As I have argued in my prepared testimony, the present interest in rapid transit will inevitably be of short duration. The experience of the Bay Area Rapid Transit is already, I think, beginning to dispel this interest. When the system is completed, I have no doubt it will continue this process of dispelling interest in rail transit. By 1980, at the latest, the present rapid transit movement will be looked upon as unsuccessful, misguided, and purely wasteful. Thus, I think it's important to avoid or at lest to minimize the amount of waste which is put into this at present." George W. Hilton, UCLA economics professor and former Chairman of President Johnson's Task Force on Transportation Policy, during 1973 Congressional testimony.

Hilton, George W. Testimony before the Transportation Subcommittee of theU.S. House Public Works Committee on March 23, 1973.

Rail transit

"Criticism of (new rail systems) became almost endemic, and some of the most cogent critiques originated with people who had once been among the ardent advocates of rail transit."

John R. Meyer and Jose Gomez-Ibanez. Autos, Transit and Cities.Harvard University Press. 1981.  p. 11.

Rail transit

"Some form of mass transit will have to be developed to meet transportation demands created by limited accommodation of the automobile.  The system that is finally adopted should be one which will lend itself readily to incremental planning.  Grand schemes, such as BART, should be considered suspect from an economic point of view.  The BART system, which was supposed to be finished in 1971 for one billion dollars and be self-supporting, is still not completed, will cost in the neighborhood of two or more billion dollars, and already has been acknowledged as an economic failure.  Recently, a sales tax had to be levied on the residents served by BART to bail it out of financial difficulty.  There is every reason to believe that the tax will be needed indefinitely in order to continue its operation.  Given the history of cost overruns with such systems,Honolulu should not be too hasty in committing itself to any such system at this time."

Interdepartmental Transportation Control Commission, Office of the Governor, State ofHawaii. Report to the 8th Legislature. November 1974.  p.10.

Rail

"...comparisons of LRT operating costs to 'average' bus system operating costs are not a valid way of assessing the relative cost-effectiveness of the two modes...because they compare the costs of serving the systems most heavily traveled route (new heavy rail and LRT lines invariably replace the most heavily used bus routes in any system) to the average cost of serving both heavy and very lightly traveled routes, including the bus feeders for the LRT system."

U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  Increasing the Productivity of the Nation's Urban Transportation Infrastructure.  January 1992. (DOT-T-92-17).

Rail

"...the HART proposal starts with a bus system that is operated with rather limited regard for the possibilities of the vehicle. The consultants recommended a costly option without first testing out whether some intermediate step, such as an express bus network operated with true priority access to roads and city streets, might not prove a more effective way to use your tax dollars.  If at some future date such an option proves to be inadequate, the irretrievable portion of the investment made in a bus option would be small.  The same cannot be said of the HART proposal.  In fact, the premature commitment to rail could prove to be rail's own worst enemy.  It is not inconceivable that, for the lack of caution, you could get a stump of a rail system with all the utility of an amusement park contraption simply because you oversold the public and suffered from the subsequent backlash.

Seminar on Urban Mass Transit (transcript).  Office of the Legislative Auditor, State ofHawaii.  January 1978.  Dr. Andrew Hamer,Dept. of Economics,Georgia State University.

Rail

"...the new rapid rail systems took the place of existing bus service, but their failure to attract large numbers of new riders to fill the extra seats they offered stems chiefly from the effect of that switch on travel times and costs.  To compete with autos, public transportation must be attractive in terms of convenience, time, and cost."

New Directions for the Nation's Public Works.  Congressional Budget Office. September 1988

Rail

"...we could find no evidence that rail transit capacity was any more successful in attracting commuters than the equivalent amounts of bus transit capacity.  Now, this finding, to be very honest, surprised us, because we expected that grade-separated rail systems would be more effective in attracting commuters than relatively low-performance bus systems such as are found in most metropolitan areas."

Seminar on Urban Mass Transit (transcript).  Office of the Legislative Auditor, State ofHawaii.  January 1978.  Dr. John Kain, Chairman, Dept. of City and Regional Planning,Harvard University.

Rail

"Most new rail riders are former bus or carpool riders.  In terms of linked trips, very few new trips are generated.  Most new trips represent discretionary travel for non-work purposes."

UMTA Report to Congress.  The Status of The Nation's Local Public Transportation. September 1984.

Rail

"Rapid rail systems are three to five times more expensive per passenger mile than buses."

New Directions for the Nation's Public Works. Congressional Budget Office. September 1988.

Rail

"Ridership and overall performance have been affected by the general failure of the new rapid rail systems to function as promised."

The Status of the Nation's Local Public Transportation: Conditions and Performance. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to Congress. September 1984.

Rail

"Studies have shown that mass transit services, as actually operated and used, make no appreciable contribution to the improvement of air quality, reduction in congestion,or conservation of energy....Mass transit subsidies, in the main, benefit those with middle and upper income."

Ralph M. Stanley, UMTA Administrator, testimony before the House Appropriations Committee Transportation Sub-Committee.  3/26/85.

Rail

"The drop in light rail VMT reflects the decline of the electric street railways which were prevalent in the early 1950's.  The effort and expense of maintaining the rails, electrical transformer and transmission facilities, and aging vehicles compared to lower fixed capital and operating costs for new buses were undoubtedly significant factors in the acute contraction of this mode.  Trolley bus service declined for similar reasons." 

U.S. Department of Transportation.  National Transportation Strategic Planning Study. 1989. p.12-4.

Rail

"UMTA is skeptical about the cost-effectiveness of new rail starts and notes that initial ridership levels are often disappointing and cost exceed original estimates."

U.S. Department of Transportation.  National Transportation Strategic Planning Study. 1989. p. 12-22

Road Pricing

"It is Federal transportation policy to encourage peak-period or congestion pricing to ensure the most effective use of transportation facilities.

MovingAmerica: New Directions, New Opportunities.  A Statement of National Transportation Policy.  U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  February 1990.

Road Pricing

"Most likely, congestion pricing itself would do more to create the kind of urban form that is conducive to transit usage than any single factor."

Cervero, Robert R. UC Berkeley.  Fostering Commercial Transit:  Alternatives in GreaterLos Angeles.  Reason Foundation - Policy Insight #146.  September 1992.

Road Pricing

"They should have been honest and said (rail transit) was only an alternative, not the solution toOahu's traffic problems.  They said it would solve traffic problems.  It won't.  Nothing short of taxation on autos will.

Doug Carlson.  Quoted inHawaii Investor.  December 1992.

Road Pricing

"What these drivers fail to consider, however, are the costs of delay that their entry imposes on all other persons traveling along a congested roadway at the same time.  Unless society compels them to do otherwise -- say, by charging a toll or parking fee for driving during the most popular periods, as explained in chapters 4 and 5 -- commuters will continue to underestimate this collective cost.  The main reason they and most public officials this way is that traditionally most roads have been freely accessible to all motorists.  People could certainly recognize that offering unlimited access to hearty free meals at restaurants would cause chronic overcrowding there, as happens at many shelters for the homeless.  Similarly, they see that offering public housing units at below cost has generated massive waiting lists among potential occupants.  But they fail to connect the congestion they abhor with free access to crowded expressways during the peak hours.  Clearly no strategy for remedying peak-hour congestions will be effective unless this relationship is fully recognized and taken into account."

Downs, Anthony.  Stuck in Traffic: Coping with Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion.  The Brookings Institution. 1992.

Road Pricing

Congestion [road] pricing of urban highway capacity and preferential treatment of high occupancy vehicles, including transit buses, could help to "level the playing field" among urban transportation modes and provide a significant opportunity for public transportation."

Public Transportation in theUnited States: Performance and Condition. Report to Congress. Urban Mass Transportation Administration.  February 1991.

Road Pricing.

Increasingly, all levels of government, the private sector and individuals must seek to eliminate incentives that encourage the inefficient use of transportation resources.  Consistent with user-based funding, efforts will increase to encourage congestion pricing, incentives for high occupancy vehicle uses, and other measures..."

Public Transportation in theUnited States: Performance and Condition. Report to Congress. Urban Mass Transportation Administration.  February 1991.

Streetcars

"... we are not at the point, and probably never will be, where buses can wholly replace streetcars."

Alfred L. Castle, Chairman, Honolulu Rapid Transit Co. Ltd. Annual Report. February 21, 1935. Castle announced the closing of all rail lines five years later and they finally ran for the last time in March 1941.

Free Enterprise

”There is growing evidence that publicly operated transit has inflicted all the detrimental effects of monopoly on transit users and taxpayers.  Cities that have begun to breakdown the monopoly structure of mass transit are finding reduced costs and new solutions to their mobility problems and objectives.”

The Status of the Nation's Local Public Transportation: Conditions and Performance. Report of the Secretary of Transportation to Congress. June 1987.

Congestion

"Regardless of how good a mass transit system is developed forHonolulu, no private cars will be taken off the highways, and the vehicle population will continue to increase."

Hawaii Dept of Transportation. Report to the 9th Legislature Relating to the Statewide Transportation Council.  December 1977. p.7.

BART

"Some form of mass transit will have to be developed to meet transportation demands created by limited accommodation of the automobile.  The system that is finally adopted should be one which will lend itself readily to incremental planning.  Grand schemes, such as BART, should be considered suspect from an economic point of view.  The BART system, which was supposed to be finished in 1971 for one billion dollars and be self-supporting, is still not completed, will cost in the neighborhood of two or more billion dollars, and already has been acknowledged as an economic failure.  Recently, a sales tax had to be levied on the residents served by BART to bail it out of financial difficulty.  There is every reason to believe that the tax will be needed indefinitely in order to continue its operation.  Given the history of cost overruns with such systems,Honolulu should not be too hasty in committing itself to any such system at this time."

Interdepartmental Transportation Control Commission, Office of the Governor, State ofHawaii. Report to the 8th Legislature. November 1974.  p.10.

Time-value

"Too often critics will use the average cost of driving as the cost factor rather than using the additional cost of driving. In most people's decision making the ownership of our cars is a given. We are not going to give up our cars even if we use the bus to get to work. So what we sensibly consider is the additional cost of driving and not the ownership costs. In other words, the costs of interest, depreciation together with insurance, do not increase if we commute by car. What increases are the additional gas, oil, tire wear and maintenance. Compared to ownership costs such as interest depreciation and insurance these are fairly minor with the exception of parking which is subsidized for most employees."

Lansing, John B. and Hendricks,Gary. How People Perceive the Cost of the Journey to Work. Highway Research Record #197. 1967.

Transitway

"...a one-lane bus-carpool facility can accommodate 1,500 PCU's (passenger car equivalents) per hour...a bus requires 1.6 times as much capacity as the average auto."

U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  Increasing the Productivity of the Nation's Urban Transportation Infrastructure.  January 1992. (DOT-T-92-17).

Transitways

"...busways generally have lower capital and operating costs than light or heavy rail systems and provide comparable or better levels of service."

U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  Increasing the Productivity of the Nation's Urban Transportation Infrastructure.  January 1992. (DOT-T-92-17).

Transitways

..The much shorter travel times and smoother traffic flow in the HOV lanes attract additional commuters to carpools, vanpools, and buses.  As a result, the Shirley Highway HOV lanes carry more people into and out of theWashington region's urban core during rush hours than any of the...rail lines that serveWashington."

MovingAmerica: New Directions, New Opportunities.  A Statement of National Transportation Policy.  U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  February 1990.

Transitways.

"Busways...should be taken into account when construction of new facilities is being considered."

MovingAmerica: New Directions, New Opportunities.  A Statement of National Transportation Policy.  U.S. Dept. of Transportation.  February 1990.

Urban space

"As Meyer, Kain and Wohl have pointed out, almost every force other than the introduction of the automobile was also an incentive for decentralization. The truck was a powerful force for the decentralization of factories and warehouses. The airport in the suburbs replaced the railroad station in the central business district. The single-story, ranch-style factory was almost invariably placed out of the central area. Computers, information retrieval devices, and similar office machines cut the need for large low labor forces, which had been recruited largely from the children of slum-dwellers."

Hilton, George. Rail Transit and the Pattern of Modern Cities: TheCalifornia Case. Traffic Quarterly. July 1967. p. 379.

Urban Space

"High population density and low incomes often ensure sufficient transit demand so that mass transportation vehicles can operate on conveniently frequent schedules and still maintain full loads. High density is also associated with high levels of street congestion and parking  costs, which make the automobile less attractive. Commuter trips in these situations also tend to be short, so that mass transportation service discomforts may be more tolerable and speed disadvantages less significant."

John R. Meyer and Jose Gomez-Ibanez. Autos, Transit and Cities.Harvard University Press. 1981.  p.53.

Urban space

"The dramatic urban transportation innovations that greatly modified urban development patterns -- for example, the electric streetcar and the first urban freeways -- were those that brought new lands into development. In contrast, most public transit improvements proposed since 1960, particularly new rail transit systems, have largely been for the benefit of established urban areas."

John R. Meyer and Jose Gomez-Ibanez. Autos, Transit and Cities.Harvard University Press. 1981.  p. 105.

Urban Space

"The fact that transportation's impact on metropolitan development is probably small, and certainly poorly understood, has clear policy implications. Above all, the conflicting incentives established by transportation changes make it extremely difficult to design a transportation policy that is certain to achieve any particular desired effect on metropolitan development." 

John R. Meyer and Jose Gomez-Ibanez. Autos, Transit and Cities.Harvard University Press. 1981.  p. 121.

Urban space

"The reason why electric railways are a mild and ineffective force for concentration is apparent; they were forces for centralization through their weakness, not through their strength. They centralized cities because of their inflexibility and inability to provide lateral movement, not because the public was eager to ride them into central areas." 

Hilton, George W. Rail Transport and the Pattern of Modern Cities: TheCalifornia Case. Traffic Quarterly, vol. XXI, no. 3. July 1967. pp. 379-380.

Urban space

"This constancy of the average commuter trip (20-25 minutes one-way) in the face of substantial additions to urban expressway capacity strongly suggests that many people have been trading a longer commuter trip for an improvement (within income and budget constraints) in their housing."

John R. Meyer and Jose Gomez-Ibanez. Autos, Transit and Cities.Harvard University Press. 1981. p. 8.

User Fees.

"In the years and decades to come, there will be increased reliance on user fee-based financing for transportation, with greater emphasis on fair and direct assessment of direct and indirect costs of transportation systems."

Public Transportation in theUnited States: Performance and Condition. Report to Congress. Urban Mass Transportation Administration.  February 1991.

User-side subsidies

"Research has repeatedly shown that subsidies to providers usually get "leaked away" in the form of higher worker compensation rates, lower worker productivity, the expansion of unproductive services, and over capitalization."

Robert R. Cervero, UC Berkeley.  Fostering Commercial Transit:  Alternatives in GreaterLos Angeles.  Reason Foundation - Policy Insight #146.  September 1992.

User-side subsidies

"Targeting subsidies directly at the intended beneficiaries in the form of vouchers is the only way to ensure grants-in-aid are not wasted.  To the extent that the marketplace is opened up to allow private carriers to compete for voucher clients, a wide range of transportation choices -- traditional and more exclusive buses, shared-ride taxis, dial-a-ride vans -- will likely emerge."

Robert R. Cervero, UC Berkeley.  Fostering Commercial Transit:  Alternatives in GreaterLos Angeles.  Reason Foundation - Policy Insight #146.  September 1992.

Vision

"A principle that emerges in the cases so far mentioned is that folly is a child of power. We all know, from unending repetitions of Lord Acton's dictum, that power corrupts. We are less aware that it breeds folly; that the power to command frequently causes failure to think; that the responsibility of power often fades as its exercise augments."

Barbara W. Tuchman. The March of Folly. Alfred A. Knopf. 1984. p. 32. 

Vision

"Chief among the forces affecting political folly is lust for power, named by Tacitus as "the most flagrant of all the passions." Because it can only be satisfied by power over others, government is its favorite field of exercise. Business offers a kind of power, but only to the very successful at the very top, and without the dominion and title and red carpets and motorcycle escorts of public office." 

Barbara W. Tuchman. The March of Folly. Alfred A. Knopf. 1984. p.381.

 

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