A Rebuttal To 'The Greater Mobility Opportunity Program'

Plausibility of Wendell Cox's transit replacement proposal is undermined by questionable assumptions.

In a recent article, transit critic Wendell Cox proposes to replace most transit service with subsidized automobiles for low income households. This proposal is located at the Heartland Institute website, Why Not Just Buy Them Cars? Based on the author's calculations, Cox unwittingly underestimated the additional transportation costs of implementing his proposal in the real world by $40-$66 billion per year.

To begin with, Cox grossly underestimates the cost of providing replacement paratransit service for current elderly and disabled transit patrons. Collectively the U.S. spends about $1.6 billion annually to carry slightly less than 80 million annual paratransit passengers. Assuming 10% of existing fixed route bus and rail passengers were elderly and disabled persons who cannot—or should not—drive for various reasons, annual costs of providing replacement paratransit service would increase by an order of magnitude to about $15-$16 billion annually. If 15% of transit users shouldn't drive, this amount increases to $24 billion+ annually, e.g., about the current level of transit subsidies.

Thanks to Michael D. Setty

Full Story: A Rebuttal to "The Greater Mobility Opportunity Program"


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

NEW! City Map Posters

Available in 9 different cities.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95