Beltway Slugs

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These slugs we like. A similar informal, spontaneous jitney system operates in the Bay Area, I've heard. Haven't heard of one in L.A., except during the bus strike.

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  1. A rejoinder to government regulation? The HOV lanes were designed to encourage ridesharing. The outcome? Ridesharing.

    “But every slug riding shotgun in a Buick is one less body on the Metro, or on a bus.” How does he know that? Chances are, these people would have driven alone otherwise. If they were Metro riders, they’d ride the Metro.

  2. A person standing in line at the bus/metro stop, who decides to ditch the bus/train for a ride with another commuter, in a car, cannot also ride the metro or the bus at the same time. That would be impossible. I’m not absolutely certain, but I think that’s how he knows:)

  3. If not for HOV lanes, there wouldn’t be slugging, and many more people would be driving into the city, polluting and causing more congestion and traffic accidents along the way. In fact, more roads would have to be built. Slugging is a beneficial side effect of a beneficial government regulation.

  4. An important issue here is that the government is regulating the usage of a resource that it owns. And somehow, this works. Maybe if that principle was extended to letting everyone manage the use of resources that they own, things might work better.

  5. But the article says the slugs aren’t going to the bus stop to ride the bus, but to catch a ride share – and that not all the slug lines are at bus stops.

  6. I have often wondered, while waiting for a bus that wasn’t full in Montreal, why all the people passing me in their empty cars couldn’t pick-up a person or two? Seems like a great system to me and far better than the strange attempts that have been made to make public transit artifically economical to reduce traffic.

  7. “If not for HOV lanes, there wouldn’t be slugging, and many more people would be driving into the city, polluting and causing more congestion and traffic accidents along the way. In fact, more roads would have to be built. Slugging is a beneficial side effect of a beneficial government regulation.”

    Nope.

    HOV lanes are a ripoff of the drivers of single occupancy vehicles. All the lanes of the roads – including the HOV lanes – are financed by gas tax user fees collected from ALL drivers when they fill up their gas tanks. The driver of a car who drives by himself has paid (and is paying) just as much money to build the HOV lane as is the driver who carries passengers.

    Those single occupancy vehicle drivers therefore have just as much right to drive on that lane as anyone else does – they paid to build it.

    Oh yeah , also HOV lanes are another attempt at social engineering by the govt – something that it never had any legitimate Constitutional authority to do to begin with.

  8. Gil,

    HOV lanes are put in place by the state, not the feds. No Constitutional issue.

    They aren’t social engineering, but a policy on how to distribute a government-owned resource – sort of like providing a limited number of fishing licenses for a public lake. Strike two.

  9. “HOV lanes are put in place by the state, not the feds. No Constitutional issue.”

    Oh yes there is. FEDERAL gas taxes paid for a large chunk of building those HOV lanes.

    “They aren’t social engineering, but a policy on how to distribute a government-owned resource – sort of like providing a limited number of fishing licenses for a public lake.”

    Any attempt by govt to forcibly change drivers behavior is social engineering. Oh and it’s not a “government” owned resource – it’s a TAXPAYER owned resource – gas tax taxpayer that is.

    “Strike two.”

    You aren’t the umpire, boy.

  10. The feds may have funded it, but they didn’t implement the HOV lanes – that was Virginia. Yer out.

  11. In several cases, the Feds have tied highway funding to the implementation/continuation of HOV lanes. So the states really don’t have much choice.

    http://www.techcentralstation.com/1051/techwrapper.jsp?PID=1051-250&CID=1051-052302A

  12. Not on your say so, boy.

    Having HOV lanes was the federal govt’s idea in the first place. It uses the leverage of federal gas tax money to get the states to implement them.

    In essence what the federal govt does is collect gas taxes from state residents and then tells the states they can have some of that money back if they conform their road projects to federal govt desires.

  13. “If we all “own” Central Park, and I want out — could I sell my share of “ownership?”” No, Tim, but the government could sell it. The government has ownership rights to public parks, public buildings, public housing (which it collects rents on), and even private property taken when the former owner stopped paying taxes. It can sell, demolish, improve, etc., all these things.

    If ownership implies INDIVIDUAL ownership, then what about corporations?

  14. This existed in the SF Bay Area several years ago, but was stopped by BART, since most of the riders were leaving their cars in the BART parking lots. I haven’t heard of it starting up again. If they could solve the parking problem, there’s no reason it couldn’t work. Government or not, it’s not too outrageous that BART would want to reserve its parking lots for people who actually ride BART. Unfortunately, that’s also the most natural meeting place for commuters.

  15. Well, I guess I should read the whole article first, shouldn’t I?

    http://www.sfride.com/

  16. In SF it makes sense. In DC, it happens because of the HOV lanes, which happened because government has exploded in size.

  17. FALLACY: “the government is regulating the usage of a resource that it owns.”

    Governments neither produces nor owns anything. Ownership implies INDIVIDUAL title or contract. There can be no such thing as “common ownership.”

    If we all “own” Central Park, and I want out — could I sell my share of “ownership?”

  18. Joe, corporations are private entities and as such, can be individualized. That’s why you need nobody’s “permission” to sue them.

    There is a big difference between “Public Property” (an oxymoron) and Private Property.

    In the case of the former, “everybody owns it” (supposedly) but in actuality, nobody owns it — hence there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY.

    In the case of the latter, one entity owns it — hence there is accountability.

    And that’s the difference.

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