Friday, November 14, 2008

A Blank Canvas

So many people are expecting that their agendas will be possible in an Obama administration. Even folks looking to expand roadway capacity and bring tolling schemes to bear. Now tolling is not all bad, but it's not as some feel, the solution to everything. And bus rapid transit is not the solution to everything just like rail isn't the solution to everything.

Michael Replogle, transportation director for the Environmental Defense Fund, told the group that with revenue from gasoline taxes in constant flux, leaders need to start thinking about adding tolls to existing roads and opening rapid bus transit lines.

The transportation expert also suggested that technology will lead to GPS-based pay-by-the-mile taxes, or an all-toll-road system that changes fees based on real-time traffic volume.

"We're at the cusp of a new era," Replogle said, adding that President-elect Barack Obama's administration will likely embrace such changes.

Do we have any evidence that Obama or his administration would be behind these types of measures? I feel like this is something he hasn't signed on to, at least not that I have seen. But as people had said before the election season even started, folks see him as a blank canvas to project their hopes and dreams. I heard he's going to give everyone a star wars lego set. Can I expect to see that soon?

As an aside, can we stop calling freeway buses in HOV lanes bus rapid transit? We need to define what BRT really is so people understand what others mean when they say BRT.


Morgan Wick said...

Whazzat? Rail ISN'T the solution to everything? Reading your blog, I would have never guessed!

Matt Fisher said...

I hope this BRT swindle is stopped. What worries me about BRT is that many are using the term to refer to any bus that isn't an ordinary bus in mixed traffic. I also oppose using anything bus-based as a "substitute" for rail.

And this "blank canvas" is what, well, everyone has their suggestions. I saw this one.

Rhywun said...

The only transportation-related comment I've heard from Obama is that he supports bailing out the (American) auto industry. I wonder if he'll bail out New York's MTA, too.

jon said...

obama had to be careful in the campaign since his opponent was "mr. pork cutter" who saw any government spending as waste, at least thats how i read obama's lack of major talk on infrastructure and transportation. if you look closely on his website it mentions infrastructure investment and development of HSR and transit, you just had to look really hard.

jon said...

i might add though, on the issue of auto industry bailout, i support (for once) the GOP and even the nutjobs at cato on saying that the market needs to do its thing to weed out GM. this is a company that refuses to change it outdated ways.