A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

Why the United States Has the Most-Advanced Rail System in the World

By Randal O'Toole -- November 5, 2018

“The notion that Europe is somehow more environmentally sound than the United States because more people ride trains is a myth. As New York University historian Peter Baldwin notes, ‘Ecologically speaking, there is no advantage in sending passengers by rail if freight is sent by road.'”

“America’s rail system is the envy of the world, carrying more than six times as many ton-miles of freight each year as all of the EU-27 nations combined.”

On my first visits to most other countries, including Australia, Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and Switzerland, I’ve spent much of my time riding trains. Many of my friends who visit these countries return to the United States wondering, “Why can’t we have trains like that?”

There are many ways to answer this question, but the best way is to see how well the trains in those countries actually work.…

Mass Transit: Perilous Times Ahead (new strategies needed)

By Randal O'Toole -- January 9, 2018

“”Lumbering transit buses and railcars not only do not relieve congestion, they often use more road space than the number of automobiles they take off the road.”

“Ride-hailing services … using driverless cars … makes it likely that outside of a few very dense areas, such as New York City, mass transit will be extinct by the year 2030, leaving behind a huge burden of debt and unfunded obligations to former transit employees.”

“Mass transit agencies should begin to prepare for an orderly phase-out of publicly funded transit services as affordable, shared driverless cars become available in the next decade. The industry should stop building new rail lines; replace most existing rail lines with buses as they wear out; pay down debts and unfunded obligations; and target any further subsidies to low-income people rather than continue a futile crusade to attract higher-income people out of their cars.”

Driverless Cars: The Next Transportation Revolution

By Randal O'Toole -- February 3, 2015

“Imagine going to work and then sending your car home to pick up your kids and take them to school. Self-driving cars won’t require able-bodied drivers, extending the benefits of mobility to many more people….  Personally, I am looking forward to sending my dogs to the vet in a self-driving car so I don’t have to go myself.”

“Though technical challenges remain, the real challenges are legal and institutional. Even they are not insurmountable. Instead of individuals insuring their cars, automakers might buy insurance against liability suits and pass the cost onto auto buyers. Since self-driving cars can record every event leading up to an accident, it will be easy to determine who is at fault in any crash.”

There’s a self-driving car in your future. Most experts believe that cars capable of driving themselves in almost any situation will be on the market by 2020, and cars that don’t even have the option of being driven by humans will be on the market by 2030.…

Highway Taxes vs. Road Expenditure (Diversion) by State

By Randal O'Toole -- January 21, 2015

Congestion Pricing for Road Finance: Time to Replace Gasoline Taxes?

By Randal O'Toole -- June 13, 2012

Privatizing Local Transit: Part of the Free Market Energy Agenda

By Randal O'Toole -- January 6, 2011

Urban Rail Transit: On the Wrong Track

By Randal O'Toole -- April 21, 2010

Mobility versus the “Congestion Coalition” (freedom versus planning revisited)

By Randal O'Toole -- February 2, 2010

Smart Growth: Lower Carbon Footprint Not

By Randal O'Toole -- December 15, 2009

Do Passenger Trains Save Energy? Another Look

By Randal O'Toole -- July 9, 2009