Dr. David Hartgen

Dr. David Hartgen

Prof. Hartgen is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1973 for Transportation Planning. He is author of over 300 publications in transportation planning and policy, and is the US Editor of the International Journal of Transportation. His recent studies include comparative studies of highway and transit systems, impacts of electric and natural gas vehicles, economic impacts of transit and road proposals, economic impacts of airports, the motor sports industry, Charlotte traffic and transit service, site development, and commercial development at rural Interstate exits. His research regularly blends geographic principles, GIS, and spatial competition with transportation access and performance.

Recent Research

Review of the Triangle Transit Authority’s Response to Questions Regarding Costs and Ridership

Based on our review of the TTA Response, we continue to have major reservations concerning the feasibility of the Wake County Transit Plan. The TTA Response does not adequately respond to our questions concerning ridership or costs. It does not deal with the inconsistencies in ridership estimated implied in the Plan versus those in the earlier documents and, in fact, introduces new ones. The ridership estimates provided in the TTA Response are several times higher than those implied in the Plan, and the costs per rider are much lower than those implied in the Plan. Further, the Response does not respond to our concerns expressed in the John Locke Foundation’s earlier Review regarding other serious issues. Therefore the TTA Response is deemed inadequate, and our fundamental concerns regarding the costs and benefits of this Plan remain unaddressed.

Review of the Wake County Transit Plan

The draft Wake County Transit Plan, released in November 2011, proposes a doubling of bus service, new commuter rail service between East Garner and Durham, and light rail service between Cary and northeast Raleigh. The expanded service is proposed to be funded by a 1⁄2-cent sales tax, a $10 increase in vehicle registration fees, increased vehicle rental fees, transit bonds, state and federal funds, and rider fares. The estimated cost of the expanded bus and commuter rail plan is $2.8 B, and the full plan (including light rail) $4.6 billion through 2040.

Distributing Transportation Funds: N.C. needs a better project selection system to make better use of scarce resources

North Carolina has the largest state-owned road system, but only the 9th largest road budget.
Since 2002, North Carolina’s interstates are smoother, roads are safer, and traffic congestion is improved.

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