September 2, 2020
Evidence is mounting that mass transit played a major role in spreading COVID-19. According to analytics firm TrendMacro, the only factor “that seems to make a demonstrable difference [in the severity of outbreaks] is the intensity of mass-transit use.” This makes intuitive sense. Mass transit places people in close proximity in confined spaces, often for long-ish periods of time.
June 30, 2020
America’s current surface transportation authorization, the FAST Act, expires at the end of September. Rather than reauthorizing it, however, House Democrats have introduced the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 2). While this bill stands no chance of becoming law, it exemplifies several problems with the current approach to lawmaking from the House.
March 20, 2020
As we enter a new era of slapdash bailouts driven by a dangerous mix of panic, ignorance, and opportunism, we face a growing list of bad policy ideas. One particularly bad idea is attempting to address immediate cash flow and near-term solvency issues through costly and slow transportation infrastructure spending.
December 5, 2019
Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) led a group of scholars and advocates from 13 free market organizations urging Congress to exercise close oversight over potential new government price controls on America’s freight railroads. Specifically, we requested congressional railroad overseers to closely monitor an upcoming December 12 and 13 hearing at the Surface Transportation Board on revenue adequacy and the underlying proceedings before the Board.
July 26, 2019
It is a banner day for employee choice. For the first time, airline and railroad workers have a direct path to remove an unwanted union.
July 11, 2019
Yesterday, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) published a decision on a March 2019 rulemaking petition from the Association from American Railroads (AAR). The AAR petition called on the STB to require benefit-cost analysis for legislative rulemakings undertaken by this independent agency, similar to what federal departmental agencies must already do and some other independent agencies now require.
May 23, 2019
Today, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) released a draft notice indicating that it will be withdrawing a 2016 proposed rule that would have required trains to have at least two crewmembers onboard at all times during operation.
April 30, 2019
Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) led a coalition of 20 other free market organizations urging the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to withdraw a harmful proposed rule. The STB has been the U.S. economic regulator of railroads for more than two decades since the infamous Interstate Commerce Commission was disbanded.
March 28, 2019
Unions in the railroad industry have a long history of “featherbedding,” the pejorative term for the practice of creating pointless make-work jobs. Most infamous was the case of the firemen, important workers in the 19th and first half of the 20th century who shoveled coal into the boilers of steam locomotives. With the introduction of diesel locomotives in the 1930s, firemen became obsolete. But unions successfully kept the fireless firemen on trains.
February 17, 2019
California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) on February 12th unexpectedly slammed the brakes on the state’s high-speed rail project. The project “as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long” to build, Newsom explained during his first State of the State address.