Evaluating Public Transit Criticism: Systematic Analysis of Political Attacks on High Quality Transit and How Transportation Professionals Can Effectively Respond
High quality public transit such as urban rail and Bus Rapid Transit, and Transit Oriented Development (TOD), can provide many benefits, including direct benefits to users and indirect benefits to other members of society. There is evidence of growing consumer demand for these options. As a result, many communities are investing significant resources to improve transit services and encourage TOD. A small but vocal group of critics attack these efforts. Critics argue that transit service improvements attract few riders, provide few benefits, are not cost effective, and are unfair to low-income residents and motorists. Many of these arguments are based on inaccurate, incomplete or biased information. This report systematically evaluates these claims and describes appropriate responses.
Evaluating Transportation Diversity: Multimodal Planning for Efficient and Equitable Communities
'Transportation diversity' refers to the variety of mobility and accessibility options available in a particular situation, including various modes, services and destinations. A transport system must be diverse in order to serve diverse demands, including the needs of people who cannot, should not or prefer not to drive. Multimodal planning that increases transport system diversity tends to increase efficiency, equity and resilience, and help achieve various planning objectives. Conventional planning undervalues many of these benefits, resulting in less diverse, more automobile-dependent transport systems than optimal to serve user needs and achieve planning goals. This report examines consumer demands for various travel options, transport diversity benefits, and methods for evaluating optimal transport system diversity.
Comparing Greenhouse Gas Reductions and Legal Implementation Possibilities for Pay-to-Save Transportation Price-shifting Strategies and EPA’s Clean Power Plan
This paper by Allen Greenberg and John (Jay) Evans investigates the potential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction impacts and benefits of a set of innovative, revenue-neutral transportation pricing reforms including pay-as-you-drive-and-you-save vehicle insurance, parking cash out, and the conversion of fixed state and local vehicle sales taxes into mileage-based taxes. These would give travelers significant financial incentives to reduce their annual mileage and provide various benefits including reduced congestion, crashes and local pollution emissions. These strategies would reduce an estimated 140-257 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually, which is significant compared with other emission reduction strategies. This report identifies practical ways to implement these strategies.
The New Traffic Safety Paradigm
Despite large investments in safer vehicles, roads and traffic safety programs, traffic accidents continue to impose huge costs to individuals and society. New approaches are needed. A new traffic safety paradigm is changing how planning professionals measure traffic risks and evaluate potential safety strategies. It expands the range of potential traffic safety strategies to include multi-modal planning, transportation demand management, and Smart Growth policies.
Increasing Sustainable and Affordable Housing Development by Reforming California Tax Credit Allocation Policy to
Minimize Parking Subsidies and Maximize Housing
This report by Professor Sherman Lewis examines how California State affordable housing tax credits divert funds and land from affordable housing development to subsidize costly parking, wasting millions of dollars, reducing affordable housing supply and increasing vehicle traffic problems. The report recommendations policy reforms to maximize affordable housing development and make affordable housing policy conform to state housing and climate change objectives.