Reports on Transportation

The reports below represent a sample of Frontier Group’s work on Transportation. For more of our reports on this and related topics, please visit www.PolicyArchive.org. Full archive coming soon.

50 Steps Toward Carbon-Free Transportation: Rethinking U.S. Transportation Policy to Fight Global Warming

America’s transportation system has emerged as Climate Enemy #1, with cars, trucks and other vehicles now representing the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution, and America producing more transportation carbon pollution per capita than any other major industrialized nation. There is hope, however. New technologies and emerging social trends, from the resurgence of interest in walkable neighborhoods to advances in electric vehicles – create new opportunities to move the nation toward a zero-carbon transportation system, and to do it in ways that improve our health and well-being and support a vibrant economy.

(October 2016)
Fast Forward: The Technology Revolution in Transportation and What it Means for Massachusetts

FAST FORWARD: The Technology Revolution in Transportation and What it Means for Massachusetts reviews the current state of innovative mobility in the Commonwealth, explores the implications of innovative technologies and services for our communities and our transportation system, and proposes a public policy framework for the integration of these services into our cities and towns.

(October 2016)
Drive Clean and Save: Electric Vehicles Are a Good Deal for California Consumers and the Environment

Electric vehicles (EVs) are clean, fun to drive, never require a stop at the gas station, and are a key part of California’s strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, the state’s biggest source of climate-altering pollution. Today’s mass-market battery electric vehicles are also a good deal and will likely save money for consumers compared to similar gasoline-powered vehicles. 

(July 2016)
A New Way Forward: Envisioning a Transportation System without Carbon Pollution

New technologies, new tools and emerging social trends make it easier than ever before to envision how America might transform its transportation system to one with little to no impact on the climate. With America facing an urgent imperative to eliminate carbon pollution to meet the terms of the Paris climate agreement, now is the time for action. Our report, A New Way Forward: Envisioning a Transportation System without Carbon Pollution, makes the case that America has the tools and strategies it needs to eliminate carbon pollution from urban, light-duty transportation by 2050.

(May 2016)
Highway Boondoggles 2: More Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future

America faces a long-term transportation funding crisis. Our roads, bridges and transit systems are falling into disrepair. Demand is growing for public transit and safe bicycle and pedestrian routes. Traditional sources of transportation revenue, especially the gas tax, are not keeping pace with the needs. Even with the recent passage of a five-year federal transportation bill, the future of transportation funding remains uncertain. Highway Boondoggles 2: More Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future studies 12 proposed highway projects across the country – slated to cost at least $24 billion – that exemplify the need for a fresh approach to transportation spending.

(January 2016)
Who Pays for Roads?: How the "Users Pay" Myth Gets in the Way of Solving America's Transportation Problems

Many Americans believe that drivers pay the full cost of the roads they use through gas taxes and other user fees. That has never been the case, and it is less true today than ever. Increasingly, American taxpayers are bearing more of the burden of paying for building, maintaining and operating our roads, regardless of how much they drive. Who Pays for Roads? exposes how long-running myths about how America pays for transportation continue to distort transportation policy, and argues for thorough reform of how the United States raises and spends transportation funds.

(May 2015)
The Innovative Transportation Index: The Cities Where New Technologies and Tools Can Reduce Your Need to Own a Car

Find out how your city ranked! And click here for shareable graphics you can use to tell all your friends about how great your favorite city is.

 
 

 

 

Rapid technological advances have enabled the creation of new transportation tools that make it possible for more Americans to live full and engaged lives without owning a car. Many of these new tools have been in existence for less than a decade – some for less than five years – but they have spread rapidly to cities across the United States.

 

This report reviews the availability of 11 technology-enabled transportation services – including online ridesourcing, carsharing, ridesharing, taxi hailing, static and real-time transit information, multi-modal apps, and virtual transit ticketing – in 70 U.S. cities. It finds that residents of 19 cities, with a combined population of nearly 28 million people, have access to eight or more of these services, with other cities catching up rapidly.

(February 2015)
Subsidizing Congestion: The Multibillion-Dollar Tax Subsidy that's Making Your Commute Worse

Federal tax subsidies for commuter parking add 820,000 cars to the roads - often during rush hour in America's biggest, most congested cities - at a cost to taxpayers of $7.3 billion per year, according to Subsidizing Congestion, a report issued by the civic philanthropy TransitCenter and Frontier Group. The report finds that the tax benefit for commuter transit use - while beneficial - only weakly counteracts the negative effects of the parking subsidy. The report calls for detailed evaluation of commuter tax benefits and reforms to better align tax incentives with the nation's overall transportation goals.

(November 2014)
Millennials in Motion : Changing Travel Habits Among Young Americans and their Implications for Public Policy

Members of the Millennial generation are driving less than previous generations of young Americans and taking transit and biking more. They are more likely to want to live in urban and walkable communities, more technologically connected, and more likely to use new transportation apps and services than older Americans. What is behind those changes? And will they last? Millennials in Motion explores the many factors at play in Millennials' move away from driving and argues that many of those changes are likely to be lasting.

(October 2014)
Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America's Transportation Future

Americans are driving less than in years past. Yet states continue to move forward with highway construction and expansion projects that consume a large share of shrinking transportation revenues, even as other needs – from public transportation improvements to road and bridge repairs – go unmet. Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future describes 11 questionable projects around the country – slated to cost at least $13 billion – and calls on policymakers to reevaluate these huge capacity-expanding plans in the context of competing needs and changing priorities.

(September 2014)
Fork in the Road: Will Wisconsin Waste Money on Unneeded Highway Expansion or Invest in 21st Century Transportation Priorities?

Wisconsin’s transportation spending priorities are backwards. In recent years, despite ongoing fiscal challenges, the state has spent billions of dollars on highway expansion projects while slashing transit funding and curbing assistance for local road repair. Fork in the Road: Will Wisconsin Waste Money on Unneeded Highway Expansion or Invest in 21st Century Transportation Priorities? highlights the choice Wisconsin faces: showering $2.8 billion on unnecessary highway expansions, or investing a smaller amount in true transportation priorities, and calls on state officials to reorient the state’s transportation priorities to encourage highway repair and expanded transportation options.

(September 2014)
A New Course: How Innovative University Programs Are Reducing Driving on Campus and Creating New Models for Transportation Policy

Universities and colleges across the country are taking steps to encourage their communities, students, faculty and staff to decrease their reliance on personal vehicles. These efforts are working and showing that efforts aimed at reducing driving deliver powerful benefits for students, staff and surrounding areas. Policymakers at all levels of government should look to college campuses for useful models when looking to expand the range of transportation options available to Americans and address the transportation challenges facing our communities.

(February 2014)
Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America's Biggest Cities

Residents of America’s cities are driving less and using other modes of travel more. This report compares the latest government data on changes in automobile use, public transit travel and biking in each of America's 100 most populous urbanized areas.

(December 2013)
A New Way to Go: The Transportation Apps and Vehicle-Sharing Tools that Are Giving More Americans the Freedom to Drive Less

America is in the midst of a technological revolution ... and a big shift in our transportation habits. New technology-enabled transportation services - including numerous varieties of carsharing, bikesharing, ridesharing and real-time transit information delivered via smartphone - are emerging rapidly, giving an increasing number of Americans the freedom to adopt car-free and car-light lifestyles. A New Way to Go provides a "field guide" to these new services, documents the impacts they are already having on Americans' transportation choices, and highlights their potential to reshape America's transportation system in ways that further reduce driving.

(October 2013)
Road Overkill: Wisconsin Spends Big on Questionable Highways, Even as Driving Declines

Wisconsin’s transportation system is at a crossroads. The state’s roads and bridges are aging and maintenance needs are increasing. Funding for transit service has been slashed . Yet, the state continues to increase spending on highway expansion projects, despite the fact that driving in Wisconsin is on the decline. Road Overkill looks at seven recent highway expansion projects in Wisconsin and finds that traffic has failed on those highways has failed to materialize as transportation planners expected. Before investing hundreds of millions of dollars in even more highway capacity, Wisconsin officials should review those projects to ensure that they are still worthwhile investments in an era of reduced growth in driving.

(May 2013)

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