Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mass Transit

Tyler Cowen linked to a story about some new bullet trains in Japan that will travel almost as fast as airplanes.

A commenter at Tyler's post pointed out that the Japanese rail system is run by private firms.  Here is a Wikipedia page about them.

Seoul also has a very nice subway system which is operated privately.

By far the largest mass transit system in the United States is also largely run by private, competitive firms - Southwest, United, Delta, etc.

It's a sad commentary on the present condition of our electorate and our governance that mass transit is generally explicitly assumed to be public, even though we all utilize private mass transit frequently.  How strange is it that in the United States - the supposed beacon of laissez-faire sensibilities, the international leader of disruptive and innovative technological industries - we can't even seem to imagine the private funding and operation of industries and institutions where such has been the case for decades in many parts of the developed world?

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