By Gianni Vasquez BetterWorldBooks, a self-sustaining, triple-bottom-line company promotes and advocates for literacy around the world. Their online book-selling platform enables consumers to be participants in the company’s Book for Book™ initiative which was launched in 2011. Via this program, purchases made on the company’s site have supported the distribution of 28 million books to … Continue reading BetterWorldBooks Promotes Literacy Through Enterprise
By Giovanna Da Silva Tallahassee’s public bus transportation system, Starmetro, has been the subject of criticism among community members who use the buses. With a 3.0 star rating (out of five) on Google reviews, many complain about the poor quality of service, lack of cleanliness, tardiness, and limited bus routes and times. Complaints about public … Continue reading Time to Revisit Private History of Mass Transit
By Andrea Medici Since the 1950s school choice has been implemented in many forms to support the education system in the United States. Open enrollment is one such approach that requires school districts to enroll students who reside in other districts. This is a particularly pertinent subject to Florida as the 2017-18 school year marked … Continue reading Is Open Enrollment Effective Market-Based Education Reform?
By Giovanna da Silva As a part of his plan to revamp US public infrastructure, President Donald Trump recently suggested increasing the gasoline tax to 25 cents a gallon from the current rate of 18.4 cents per gallon to help fund his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. This isn’t a new idea, however, as proposals for … Continue reading Raising the Gas Tax Will Not Help Finance Public Infrastructure
By Giovanna da Silva Millions of Americans depend on roads in their everyday lives. US roads handle 8 billion miles of traffic per day. For most of America’s contemporary history, federal, state, and local governments have maintained and funded roads. Currently, there are 4 million miles of public road in the country. Gas taxes and … Continue reading Is the Gas Tax a Sustainable Revenue Source for Roads?
By Giovanna da Silva The 21st century has seen a substantial increase in public-private partnerships in the United States and around the world. The basic principle behind public-private partnerships, or P3s, is that government works with the private sector in order to build and finance public works projects. P3s have been increasingly encouraged by state … Continue reading Private Sector Can Shoulder Some of the Risk for New Road Construction
By Justin Langford The emergence of ridesharing has revolutionized the transportation industry. By providing an online interface to connect passengers to drivers nearby, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft offer an inexpensive and convenient alternative to traditional taxi services. The rise of TNCs, however, has brought about criticism among legislators and attempts … Continue reading Regulation of Ride Sharing Services Unnecessary Based on Evidence
By Kristen Carpenter A gallon of milk in Israel costs approximately $6 and eggs are priced at around $3.50. Meanwhile, the prices of milk and eggs in the United States cost consumers about half as much: $3.20 and $2.41, respectively. Israel’s high food costs can largely be attributed to the country’s arid and hilly landscape … Continue reading Israeli Consumers Would Benefit from Greater Competition in Agricultural Industry
By Giovanna da Silva Florida boasts the highest number of toll roads in the country. Until last April, state and local governments owned and operated all of Florida toll roads. Tallahassee’s Orchard Pond Parkway challenged this precedent, however, opening to the general public in 2017 and becoming the first privately constructed and operated toll road … Continue reading Private Toll Roads: A Case Study of Tallahassee’s Orchard Pond Parkway
By Giovanna da Silva On September 16, Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour. Maria set the record as the strongest hurricane to hit the island in 89 years. With millions of displaced Puerto Ricans desperately in need of basic essentials, such as oil, food, … Continue reading Jones Act Protectionism Hinders Puerto Rican Recovery Efforts
By Giovanna DaSilva The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly referred to as the Jones Act, is a law enacted to protect the United States’ maritime industry, regulate commerce, and bolster national defense. While well-intentioned, the act fails to reflect the current needs of the United States. Repealing the Jones Act would prove beneficial to … Continue reading The Jones Act is Sinking the Growth of American Industries
By: Nick Hyder, Tian Ma, Igor Lukashevich, and Nadia James Out of the 67 counties in the state of Florida, Duval County spends the most per capita. Duval County is home to Florida’s most populous city, Jacksonville, which has a population over twice as large as Miami, Florida’s second most populous city. In 2014, Duval … Continue reading Duval county tops spending per person, followed by some of Florida’s smallest counties
By Matt Kelly It seems that everywhere Uber, Lyft, and other transportation network companies (TNCs) set up shop, trouble with local regulators follows. The situation in Florida has been no different. The Uber vs. taxi debate has been so heated that state lawmakers have proposed legislation (HB 509) to simply regulate all vehicles for … Continue reading Regulation of Uber, Lyft Should Be Local, Not Statewide
By Santiago Arango In May, SunRail, Orlando’s commuter rail system, celebrated its first year of operation and was awarded a $93 million federal grant. Phase II of SunRail’s construction will add four more stations and 17.2 miles of rail into neighboring Osceola County within two years. Orlando is the 4th fastest growing city in … Continue reading Measuring Success and Failure in Public Transportation: The Case of Sunrail
By Santiago Arango Heritage streetcars are built both to provide transportation services and to preserve the history of rail transit, a history that dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. As of late 2012, seven U.S cities have running heritage streetcars. The Tampa Electric Company (TECO) Line Streetcar System is one example. The Florida Department … Continue reading Transit and Tourism in Tampa’s Heritage Streetcar’s
By Matt Kelly Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and other “ridesourcing” services have been the subject of a near continuous stream of popular news stories, lawsuits, protests, and even regulatory reforms across the world. The reporting has often bordered on sensationalism, but a handful of recent economic studies have tried to objectively examine the effects of “ridesourcing” … Continue reading Taxis and Ridesourcing Companies Serve Different Customers
By Matt Kelly Few economic issues have been more talked about this year than the disruptive forays into the taxi market by ridesharing technology companies like Uber and Lyft. It seems reasonable to assume ridesharing drivers are of the same ilk as traditional taxi drivers, yet little academic research has been done...until now. A recent … Continue reading New Study Sheds Light on Ridesharing’s Labor Market
By Matt Kelly A battle over railroads is underway in the Sunshine State. Activists in Florida have stridently protested All Aboard Florida (AAF), which will launch the United State’s first privately funded and operated intercity rail service in over 50 years. AAF’s opponents strongly doubts the enterprise’s financial viability. Generally, rail services across the country … Continue reading Is Florida All Aboard for Intercity Railroads?
By Matt Kelly The ridesharing technology company Uber has created quite a controversy overthe past year for its unprecedented disruption of the traditional taxi industry. Users praise the California-based company for shorter wait times and cheap fares, along with features like its driver rating system. Given the mobile app’s popularity with customers, many are now … Continue reading Florida Legislators Seek To Clarify Ridesharing Regulations
By Matt Kelly As Uber, Lyft and other “ridesharing” services continue to revolutionize the urban transportation landscape, more complaints are surfacing questioning the efficiency and fairness of the innovative services they provide. One of the more recent is “surge pricing,” the idea that services provided during peak periods carry a higher charge or fee. A … Continue reading New Study Tests the Merits of Surge Pricing
Original post date: September 30, 2014 Article by: Ben Douglas For decades, state and local governments have imposed dramatic entry controls on the taxi industry across the United States. These regulatory hurdles benefit established companies at the expense of drivers. Many cities issue "medallions," a permit that grants its owner the legal right the right … Continue reading Taxi Regulation Reduces Driver Opportunity
Original post date: September 16, 2014 Article by: Ben Douglas In May, Uber revealed annual median incomes for UberX drivers in New York and San Francisco of $90,766 and $74,191, respectively. In contrast, 2013 median annual taxi driver incomes in New York and San Francisco are $29,910 and $28,060 according to the Bureau of Labor … Continue reading Do UberX Driveres Really Earn Three Times More than Taxi Drivers?
Original post date: September 08, 2014 Article by: Ben Douglas 6/8/2023 Edits: Some links that were no longer working have been fixed. High-ranking Republican officials have recently come out in support of Uber, the innovative but legally-troubled ridesharing app that connects drivers and passengers. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus penned an op-ed in the … Continue reading Uber Wars Transcend Party Lines
Original post date: December 10, 2013 Article by: Ben Douglas 6/6/2023 Edits: Some links that were no longer working have been fixed. In my previous blogs, I discussed some of the legal and regulatory hurdles encountered by Uber, a Transportation Network Company (TNC) that provides on-demand taxi and limousine services using a smartphone app to … Continue reading The Uber Wars
Original post date: November 25, 2013 Article by: Ben Douglas 6/6/2023 Edits: Some links that were no longer working have been fixed. Mass transit is frequently accompanied by mass-subsidization, cartelization, and monopolies. This chronic need for artificial support might be an indication of its inherent inferiority as an economically valued good or service. If consumers … Continue reading Transit as an Inferior Good
Original post date: November 19, 2013 Article by: Ben Douglas 6/6/2023 Edits: Some links that were no longer working have been fixed. Finding a more textbook example of regulatory capture than the taxicab industry is difficult, as the case of the innovative on-demand taxi service Uber clearly demonstrates. Despite the highly regulated nature of the … Continue reading Customers Rise Up to Support Taxi Innovator
Original post date: November 06, 2013 Article by: Anonymous 5/16/2023 Edits: Some links that were no longer working have been fixed. Ray LaHood, the recently retired secretary of the Department of Transportation, said that equal access to transportation is “one of the most fundamental of American rights.” Mobility is a crucial aspect of life for … Continue reading Equal Access to Transportation, a Right?
Original post date: November 04, 2013 Article by: Ben Douglas The careful application of economics to policy reveals a host of ironies. Minimum wages create unemployment among the very unskilled laborers policymakers intend to help. Rent control destroys housing in the very cities it is intended to save. Adam Smith’s entire concept of an “invisible hand,” … Continue reading Go Green, Don’t Expand Transit
Original post date: October 07, 2013 Article by: Ben Douglas The World Bank has devoted a considerable amount of funding in recent years to the establishment of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems in Latin America (and Africa). Numerous prominent Latin American cities have taken loans from the global financial institution for this purpose, including Mexico … Continue reading Lima’s Transit Woes
Original post date: August 15, 2013 Article by: Sam Staley Elon Musk unveiled his pneumatic tube inspired Hyperloop, a “fifth mode” of transportation that he hopes will revolutionize intercity travel on Monday. His “technical paper” sketches out the engineering and technical plausibility of the concept, and the proposal seems surprisingly robust as I point out … Continue reading Will Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Doom High-Speed Rail?
Original post date: June 05, 2013 Article by: Anonymous In the news recently is a story that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), in conjunction with municipalities around the state, has been responsible for shortening yellow light durations below the minimum level recommended by the federal government. The story, broken by 10 News in Tampa, … Continue reading Yellow Light Corruption
Original post date: September 05, 2012 Article by: Sam Staley A catchy little tune is making its way around the Internet, lambasting the tolls levied by the Dulles Greenway. The Greenway is a privately developed, owned, and financed extension of the Dulles Tollroad (which is publicly owned and operated). The song, “Highway Robbery,” laments the … Continue reading For Whom the Road Rolls (Me or Thee?)