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Category Archives: Transportation

Using Uber, not a bus system, to satisfy transportation needs

A city experiments with subsidizing people’s transportation needs through ride-sharing services such as Uber. It gets people from A to B, without the capital costs of new buses or (more expensive yet) rail lines. The response from (taxpayer subsidized) public radio? Hey, this may be a bad thing because it could put more cars on […]

West Michigan Diary: Badgering the Badger

The business of regulators is to regulate, even when it makes little sense. After all, there are jobs to protect. As a result, regulations often neglect the principle of diminishing marginal utility. (Here’s a quick illustration: The first doughnut you eat may be very enjoyable. The second, less so, and by the fourth, you may […]

West Michigan Diary: A tale of two airports

I’ve flown into or through about 50 airports over the years, including the one in ultra-chic Aspen, Colorado. But I don’t think I have seen a terminal as beautiful as that possessed by the Cherry Capital Airport, in Traverse City. It helps that I’m a sucker for the design schools used in the building, but […]

Will fires finish Finnish Fisker?

The electric car market is expanding and diversifying. It’s not just the Chevy Volt that is catching fire these days. A model produced by a company in Finland – with U.S. “stimulus” dollars – is being recalled because of a fire hazard. OK, I shouldn’t be too hard on the luxury car. Trusty old gas-powered cars […]

Electrics are great – but don’t expect heat

Consumers Reports, a cheerleader for the heavy foot of government on automotive manufacturers, is also a big fan of all things green. Electric cars? Wheeh! Except sometimes the truth gets out anyway. The publication has a new online review of the Nissan Leaf, which was built with $1.4 billion of your money. Sure, there a […]

The train guy and Amtrak schedules

One of my college classmates was someone I’ll call “Train Guy.” He hailed from the Northeast, where mass transit makes sense–or at least more sense than it does here in the Midwest. Some people memorize baseball statistics. Train Guy, by contrast, had the Amtrak schedule committed to memory. When a train rolled through town, just […]

The Nerd is Governing as He Campaigned — Muddling Through

So Gov. Snyder wants to take $500 million in money to burn on Government Rail. Why am I not surprised? Perhaps the history so far of the Tough Nerd proves that O’Sullivan’s law applies to individuals as well as organizations. Here it is: All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing. As I […]

Bans on texting-while-driving may be dangerous

One characteristic of modern government is the move to ban something that might be dangerous. The latest victim: the ability to send or receive text messages or e-mail while driving. It may seem like banning the practice would be a no-brainer. But some researchers have observed that accidents have increased, not decreased, in states that […]

More anti-biking silliness

The Guardian of the UK reports on a politician in Colorado who sees a pro-biking scheme, and sees … a plot to bring about global government, or at least threats to personal freedoms to drive cars. Sorry, dude, but that’s just a counterproductive argument. I’m with you if you think that some cycling enthusiasts have […]

Cycling is not a public policy panacea, but neither is it childish

Millions of people find cycling to be a pleasurable activity, and some even find it a useful supplement to (or even replacement for) a car. Still, it’s easy to overstate cycling’s value as  transportation tool–call it biking zealotry for the moment–and people who point out that fact do a great public service. On the other […]