July 19, 2018

Random thought experiment: I would love for a city to try a “Section 8-style” transit plan. Meaning…
 
1) The city shifts its transit spending into vouchers for patrons.
 
2) It then invites companies (for bus, van, carshare, bikeshare, scooters, etc.) to operate. The condition for receiving patron voucher money is that each company must provide a given level of citywide frequency and coverage, to prevent route cherry-picking: (example: “a patron anywhere within city boundaries must be able to access your service within a quarter mile of their location, with it arriving in under 10 minutes”).
 
3) With those conditions set, companies are then allowed to meet them using their own internal practices. No fixed route requirements, special labor rules, or infrastructure handouts – companies choose their own routes and vehicular modes, and bid for the curb space they wish to use.
 
What kind of system would emerge? I think there’d be a buffet of options, as companies compete for customers. Services would arrive faster and closer to destinations than big fixed-route public buses now do. And congestion would decrease, since transit ridership would spike in response to the better service.
 
I look forward to hearing your feedback on my thought experiment!

0
comments

RECENT ARTICLES

MARKET URBANISM

Market Urbanism is the cross between free-market policies and urban issues. Market Urbanists believe that if cities were liberalized, they would provide cheaper housing, faster transportation, enhanced public services, and a better quality of life.

MOST POPULAR

MARKET URBANISM IN THE NEWS

Scott Beyer’s article on strip malls cited by Cato’s Walter Olsen
Overlawyered - July 16, 2018 - LINK
Academic Paper Published About Market Urbanism
Touro College - July 6, 2018 - LINK
Scott Beyer Moderates Panel At Journalists’ Forum
Lincoln Land Institute - July 2, 2018 - LINK

SIGN UP FOR THE WEEKLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER

The Market Urbanism Report’s newsletter will arrive in your inbox every Sunday morning. It features the 5 most popular articles from the past week, any new MUR videos, and updates on Scott’s cross-country tour.