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

August 21st, 2014
Over the past decade, three-, four-, and five-story apartment buildings have been built in the Denver area, especially along the routes of current and planned rail transit lines. These apartments, known as transit-oriented developments or TODs, are a part of the original FasTracks plan: first, build rail lines that don’t go [...]
August 12th, 2014
Transit agencies from Baltimore to San Diego and from Seattle to St. Petersburg are planning new light-rail lines. Yet light-rail is not only vastly more expensive than buses, it is slower, less comfortable, less convenient and has lower capacities than a well-designed rapid-bus system. Being expensive to build, light-rail can only reach [...]
July 29th, 2014
Rail advocates often call me “anti-transit,” probably because it is easier to call people names than to answer rational arguments. I’ve always responded that I’m just against wasteful transit. But looking at the finances and ridership of transit systems around the country, it’s hard not to conclude that all government transit is wasteful transit.
July 28th, 2014
President Obama recently gave a speech in Virginia calling for mandatory installation of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications in all cars. By coincidence, last week the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International held its annual symposium on autonomous (that is, driverless) cars in California.
June 30th, 2014
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has proposed a three-month transportation bill. Three more months, he says, will give Congress a chance to figure out a long-term solution. The only problem is that Congress had three months three months ago and did nothing. Meanwhile, Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., have proposed to increase gas taxes [...]
June 3rd, 2014
President Obama’s recent visit to the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York was intended to push Congress to approve billions of dollars in infrastructure spending increases. But throwing more money at transit just puts more cash into the hands of government contractors, while doing little for commuters. The federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to run [...]
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July 2nd, 2015
It’s almost time for July 4th! We’re only hours away from barbeques, fireworks, and copious amounts of flag waving. Before we get to that stuff, though, let’s take a few minutes to talk about a different kind freedom: The kind that empowers kids without means to access the high-quality educational options they need to build [...]