More Freight Rail Would Save Commuters Time and Money

Published July 2, 2008

Traffic congestion and oil prices are two frustrations Cleveland commuters face on a daily basis. (July 2, “Gov. Strickland, Mayor Jackson wisely pushing Opportunity Corridor”) The seventh annual Congestion Relief Index, written by Heartland Institute Senior Fellow Wendell Cox, found that if America were to shift 25 percent of freight from trucks to rail by 2026, then congestion, pollution, and fuel use in urban areas would be dramatically reduced without unfairly burdening taxpayers.

The study shows Cleveland would see the third greatest impact, saving commuters $1,676 in congestion costs, 126 gallons of fuel, and 85 hours of congestion delay per year. Unshackling the freight rail industry from excessive regulation and encouraging private investment through public-private partnerships and tax incentives would go a long way towards solving commuters frustrations.

John Nothdurft ([email protected]) is a legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute.