On May 15, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously rejected an appeal from Atlanta taxi drivers seeking recovery funds from the state for “deregulatory takings.” The taxi cartel had argued that the deregulation of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft had decreased the value of taxi medallions to such an extent that the taxi industry had become entitled to compensation by the state.
The court not only wholly rejected the argument, but also declared that taxi operators have no right to an “unalterable monopoly.” Simply put, purchasing the medallions from a government agency does not entitle the buyer to lost market value caused by new entrants. Taxi operators can compete and innovate, but they cannot fall back on the support of the state. In coming to this decision, the court relied on similar decisions in Chicago and Minneapolis, where other states dealt with similar arguments.
Read more in RealClearPolicy
Atlanta is already known for having some of the worst traffic in the world, and the recent collapse along a major interstate will only make congestion worse. On March 30, in the middle of rush hour traffic, a fire began under the I-85 Northbound that quickly erupted into a massive blaze, eventually causing a section of the bridge to collapse.
Less than 24-hours later, with the rubble still smoldering, the US Department of Transportation announced a $10 million award to begin emergency repairs. Despite the quick response from the DOT, it will take millions more dollars before I-85 can resume carrying 400,000 vehicles daily.
With the nation’s Highway Trust Fund rapidly approaching insolvency, the I-85 collapse and the subsequent Atlanta traffic chaos exemplify the overwhelming cost and inefficiency of public infrastructure in America.
Why So Expensive?
In the United States, transit projects are chronically expensive and time-consuming. The country’s outdated method of allowing most highways to fall under federal care, and cumbersome regulatory obstacles, is part of the reason that we continue to lag behind when it comes to international standards. Regulatory burdens also contribute to other countries’ outranking the US when it comes to securing construction permits, making new projects and maintenance even more complicated.
Read more at FEE