Is Transportation Deregulation the Key to Improving Our Cities and Economies?

Diana Lind argues that transportation regulations needlessly stifle competition that could "benefit our intertwined problems of high prices, congestion and slow service."

1 minute read

June 6, 2012, 7:00 AM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


Citing recent efforts to crackdown on low cost bus operators in New York, which she appreciates for driving up competition for intercity bus passengers and driving down prices, Lind argues that "the way we regulate transportation in cities results in a paucity of
inexpensive and safe transit options that could save us all time, money
and environmental costs."  

And the obstacles to filling the gaps in America's transportation networks is not just limited to the intercity bus market. "In many cities around the country, people are marooned by public transit
that is often unreliable, infrequent, unsafe or just nonexistent...Regulation has zeroed out private alternatives to public transit in
cities, forcing people to take transit into their own hands - or, more
accurately, into their own cars," writes Lind. 

"To be sure, the idea of deregulated transportation sounds bad.
Deregulated transportation in many developing countries is notoriously
unsafe and can have grave consequences. But there needs to be a middle
ground between rolling death traps and a transportation system that is
killing our economy."

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