How Lawmakers Made Your Commute Worse

Eric Jaffe shows how lawmakers’ recent decision to break parity on subsidized commuter benefits hurts all commuters.

“The decision is terrible for both sides — transit riders obviously lose, but so do drivers, since the incentive for a single-occupancy commute will increase traffic … In fact the few brief years of benefit equality were the exception, not the rule:”

“Here’s why subsidized benefits, in particular, are so important.” There’s no incentive for employers to make up the shortfall:

“So if the goal is to relieve pressure from urban transportation networks, federal commuter-benefit policy is failing our cities. And network pressure is indeed at stake. Transit benefits can account for 5 to 25 percent of system ridership and 5 to 40 percent of revenue.”