Book Review Excerpts Praising Curb Rights

Journal of Economic Literature (June 1998): This stimulating book develops an intriguing policy proposal for developing a market-based system of urban transit. Its thesis -- that the establishment of exclusive and transferable property rights to bus stops will greatly facilitate a competitive market in urban transit services -- is a major contribution to the public policy literature on this topic. Written for a broad audience of economists, urban planners, policy analysts, and politicians, the book excels at explaining complex economic ideas in simple direct language. . . .

The authors persuasively argue that urban transit markets can only function efficiently when they are supported by a specialized institutional framework designed to facilitate this particular market. The key insight from their analysis is that deregulation and privatization will frequently not yield satisfactory results in markets that lack the necessary conditions for the competitive process to work. . . .

[T]his accessible book is a superb contribution to the policy literature on urban transit. Its creative proposals deserve serious discussion and, once refined, could provide the basis for a revolution in the provision of urban transit services. -- Sumner J. La Croix, University of Hawaii

Economic Journal (September 1998): The provocative and groundbreaking work of Klein, Moore, and Reja (KMR) provides a pithy outline and critical examination of the economic organisation of urban public transport. Indeed KMR presents an extremely sober and informed diagnosis of the 'fizzling' of urban street-based public transport systems, which is so woefully apparent in the United States. It then proceeds to offer a highly original solution to enhance transit ridership, principally formed around a fairly pragmatic fusion of Coasian logic, Austrian School economics, and Public Choice economics, to guide market development in street-based public transport. It seems inevitable that the work of KMR will stimulate and drive new research agendas in transport policy development . . . [This is a brave, polemical, original work . . .

-- Alan Collins, University of Portsmouth

Southern Economic Journal (1997): [KMR] add a new and original twist to the argument, namely transit deregulation and privatization cannot be expected to succeed unless property rights at curbside (hence the book's title) are firmly established. . . . KMR get the credit for posing research questions not usually considered in the urban transportation field.

-- Peter Gordon, University of Southern California

American Planning Association Journal (Spring 1998): Curb Rights is a sophisticated and challenging analysis . . . written in a straightforward and very accessible way. . . . Curb Rights is an important contribution to a growing literature on the kinds of transit markets that could be self-sustaining . . . Curb Rights is sleek and efficient and commanding . . .

-- Sandra Rosenbloom, University of Arizona

Transportation Research (1998): The case for curb rights is made elegantly and, to this reviewer, convincingly. -- Gabriel Roth, World Bank

Regulation (Summer 1997): Curb Rights may be the most important book on mass transit written in this decade. . . . Curb Rights is both clear and persuasive. -- Michael C. Munger, Duke Univ.

Proceedings of the Chartered Institute of Transport (1997): This is a fascinating and thought-provoking book, which provides the sort of fresh thinking that the transport industry needs if it is to come to terms with the challenges which lie ahead. I commend it to all who have an interest in the future of the bus industry worldwide. -- Chris Cheek, MCIT


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