rail transit

The Perils of Rail Transit and Democracy

How Decentralized Decision-Making Can Screw Up Rail Planning and Implementation

Americans seem to love democracy but hate many of the results. We want governmental power to be decentralized, whether it’s across three federal branches or with local control over sometimes regionally oriented land use decisions. But when the inevitable compromise that is required to get majority approval means a less-than-perfect result, from Obamacare to budget …


Does Public Transit Improve Air Quality?

Yihsu Chen and Alexander Whalley of UC Merced think they know.  They have analyzed some useful data from the opening of Taipei’s new subway, in a recent article in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: The transportation sector is a major source of air pollution worldwide, yet little is known about the effects of transportation infrastructure …


The CEQA Streamlining “Slippery Slope” May Help Rail Transit

Whenever proposals come along to exempt or streamline environmental review for certain projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), CEQA defenders fear the slippery slope. Even if the target projects are environmentally benign, the concern is that once the CEQA armor has been pierced, special interests will be able to exploit the opening to …