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 Full archive coming soon.

Getting on Track: Key Public Transportation Projects and Their Benefits for Illinois

Public transportation makes a vital contribution to Illinois’ transportation system, relieving congestion, reducing our dependence on oil, curbing pollution, stimulating the economy, and helping to sustain healthy, vibrant communities. In recent years, Illinois transit systems have made these vital contributions despite funding levels that have often threatened service and left important expansion projects on the drawing board. Illinois needs to start investing now in critical public transportation projects to build a transportation system that meets the needs of the 21st century. Getting on Track describes 10 such public transportation projects.

(May 2009)
Arizona's New Frontier: Moving Our Transportation System into the 21st Century

Over the past few decades, Arizona’s population has skyrocketed. This population growth has not been matched by public transportation investment, and Arizona’s resulting dependence on cars is hurting the state. The recent surge of support for public transportation in Arizona is a step in the right direction, and the expanded bus service and new Valley Metro light rail are beginning to relieve congestion, reduce our dependence on oil, curb pollution, stimulate the economy, and help to sustain healthy, vibrant communities. This report quantifies the problems Arizona experiences from our dependence on cars and the benefits from public transportation, and outlines a vision for public transportation in Arizona, including 10 public transit projects that would benefit the state.

(April 2009)
Connecting California: Key Public Transportation Projects and Their Benefits for the Golden State

Public transportation makes a vital contribution to California’s transportation system, providing an alternative to drivers tired of fighting congestion, reducing our dependence on oil, and curbing pollution. However, in many communities around the state, transit systems are inadequate and cannot keep pace with demand. Connecting California highlights key transportation projects that will meet the needs of the 21st century and address the problems of our current automobile-dominated transportation system.

(March 2009)
Private Roads, Public Costs: The Facts About Toll Road Privatization and How to Protect the Public

Toll road privatization is becoming an increasingly important trend in the United States, with major implications for the public interest. Several states have sold off, or considered selling off, existing toll roads in exchange for huge upfront cash payments, while in other states, private companies have been given the right to build private roads and collect tolls from motorists. Private Roads, Public Costs spotlights this emerging trend, calls attention to the potential threats that toll road privatization poses to the public interest, and lays out an agenda for protecting the public.

(March 2009)
Making Tracks: The Case for Building a 21st Century Public Transportation Network in Maryland

Transportation is an urgent problem for Maryland. Heavy automobile traffic is stealing time from Maryland families and businesses, and forcing consumers to burn more money at the gas pump. Traffic is also making our air less healthy, deepening Maryland’s oil dependency, and creating more global warming pollution. Clean, efficient public transportation already helps millions of Marylanders get where they need to go—saving consumers time and money, cutting air pollution, reducing our dependence on oil, and helping to drive economic growth. To fix its transportation troubles and help ensure a healthier, safer and more prosperous future, Maryland must invest in public transportation for the 21st century.

(March 2009)
Connecting the Commonwealth: Key Public Transportation Projects and Their Benefits for Massachusetts

Public transportation makes a vital contribution to Massachusetts’ transportation system, relieving congestion, reducing our dependence on oil, curbing pollution, stimulating the economy, and helping to sustain healthy, vibrant communities. This report describes the many benefits Massachusetts already gains from public transportation, lays out a vision for 21st century transportation projects in the state, and outlines policies to make the vision a reality.

(October 2008)
Getting on Track: Good Investments for Pennsylvania's Public Transit System

Pennsylvania has long spent more public resources on highways than on transit. While Pennsylvania’s highway system provides the Keystone State with increased mobility, the historic neglect of transit inflicts a heavy price. Getting on Track highlights dozens of important public transportation projects that can play an important role in addressing the Commonwealth’s transportation challenges. By moving ahead with these projects, Pennsylvania can give more of its residents new transportation choices, reduce our dependence on oil, ease congestion, and curb pollution.

(September 2008)
A Better Way to Go: Meeting America's Transportation Needs with Modern Public Transit

Public transportation in America saves vast amounts of oil, reduces highway congestion, curbs emissions of global warming pollutants, and provides a host of other benefits. A Better Way to Go calculates the benefits of public transportation in cities across the country and makes the case for investing in a 21st century transportation system with clean, efficient transit at its core.

(March 2008)
Cars and Global Warming: Policy Options for Rhode Island to Reduce Global Warming Pollution from Cars and Light Trucks

Cars and light trucks produce 25 percent of Rhode Island’s global warming pollution. Cars and Global Warming explains how Rhode Island could reduce global warming emissions from passenger vehicles by adopting California’s clean car standards. By requiring advanced-technology vehicles—including hybrid-electric and eventually hydrogen vehicles—and establishing global warming pollution standards, the clean cars program could begin to reduce Rhode Island’s contribution to global warming.

(December 2005)
Transit-Oriented Development: Strategies to Promote Vibrant Communities

Transit-oriented development—mixed residential and commercial districts that allow residents to walk, drive or ride transit—can improve quality of life in urban areas and encourage more compact development. Transit-Oriented Development: Strategies to Promote Vibrant Communities offers guidelines for successful transit-oriented development projects and identifies a number of locations in Maryland where such development could occur.

(January 2005)
Making Sense of Hydrogen: The Potential Role of Hydrogen in Achieving a Clean, Sustainable Transportation System

The use of hydrogen as a fuel for cars and trucks has been touted as an environmentally responsible way to end America’s dependence on foreign oil. However, Making Sense of Hydrogen explains that a transition to a “hydrogen economy”—if poorly executed—could extend America’s dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power, while doing little to solve the environmental problems caused by our dependence on polluting and dangerous sources of energy. Making Sense of Hydrogen outlines a sensible path for the development of an environmentally sound hydrogen economy, beginning with strong investments in improving automobile fuel economy and developing renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and energy from crops.

(August 2004)
More Roads, More Traffic: The Failure of Road-Building to Alleviate Traffic Congestion in Maryland

Despite spending millions of dollars to build 7,000 lane mile to its road network from 1985 to 2000, Maryland’s congestion problem continues to get worse. A major reason is generated traffic—the new, longer, or diverted trips that develop once highway capacity in an area is increased. Generated traffic reduces or negates the congestion-fighting benefits of highway expansion. Evidence from university studies of congestion patterns, government statistics on transportation and academic research shows that highway expansion is not an effective way to fight congestion. Maryland should shift its transportation strategy away from costly highway expansion projects and toward alternatives that can provide more transportation choices to residents.

(April 2002)
Paving the Way: How Highway Construction Has Contributed to Sprawl in Maryland

Highway construction has been a key factor creating sprawl in Maryland. Data shows that highways intended to serve the needs of existing communities and alleviate traffic have instead allowed migration outward from the cities. They have been a cause of sprawl rather than a solution to congestion. Paving the Way presents an analysis of all developed residential and commercial properties in central Maryland and the Eastern Shore in relation to all major highways, finding that highways act as magnets for development.

(November 2000)