Randal O'Toole is the director of the Independence Institute's Transportation Policy Center. As the author of The Vanishing Automobile and Other Urban Myths: How Smart Growth Will Harm American Cities, O'Toole is a nationally recognized expert on urban land-use and transportation issues.

About Randal O'Toole

March 5th, 2014
by Randal O’Toole President Obama’s latest transportation “vision” is as unrealistic as California Governor Brown’s plan to pay for high-speed rail with cap-and-trade revenues. Obama proposes that Congress spend $302 billion on surface transportation over the next four years, or $75.5 billion a year. This is nearly $25 billion more per year than Congress is spending [...]
February 27th, 2014
by Peter Blake You could hardly buy an environmental impact statement today for the $6.3 million the Colorado Highway Department spent on the land, labor, bulldozers, concrete, rebars and bridges needed for the original Denver-Boulder Turnpike more than 60 years ago. Not that they needed EIS paper shufflers then. But the obvious question is: Why doesn’t [...]
February 11th, 2014
by Randal O’Toole When Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) opened its West light-rail line last April, it naturally cancelled parallel bus service. But, for many people, riding the light rail cost a lot more than the bus. This effectively made transit unaffordable for some low-income workers, who now drive to work. A group called 9to5, which represents [...]
December 9th, 2013
Virtually every state in America has either passed legislation or is contemplating legislation to regulate drones—small unmanned aircraft with the capability of autonomous flight. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 requirement for the integration of drones into the National Airspace System by 2015 has triggered a flurry of interest in the technology. Unfortunately, the current regulatory structure as defined by the Federal Aviation Administration poses a tremendous barrier to entry for drone- based businesses, and has placed the industry behind more drone-friendly countries like Japan and Australia, where unmanned aircraft have enjoyed approval for commercial use for years. State-based regulations might present an opportunity to improve the situation.
August 28th, 2013
by Rob Natelson Commuting by car from my home in Lakewood to the Independence Institute usually takes an intense 18 minutes—25 minutes in heavy traffic. But today I decided to take “light rail.” I use the term “light rail” somewhat awkwardly. When I was growing up, I was taught to call it the “trolley,” and in those days [...]
June 16th, 2013
[This] story about Millennials losing interest in driving appears to be mostly an artifact of the recession’s severe impact on younger people, not a fundamental change in their choices of where to live or how to travel.
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April 23rd, 2014
Before I begin, let me agree with you: Yes, this blog is definitely spending an inordinate amount of attention on the state of Kansas recently. But trust me, it’s for a good reason this time. Two weeks ago I told you that the Sunflower State was on the verge of creating the newest private school [...]