Lori Aratani and Paul Duggan of the Washington Post report on the controversy about which agency should oversee safety of the Washington DC subway system (“Metrorail”).
Category Archives: Transportation
Three stories in the Washington Post show why compliance with federal information quality guidelines ought to be mandatory.
Christopher Mims at the Wall Street Journal (subscription) says Uber, Lyft, airbnb, Instircart, Postmates, TaskRabbit and others in the so-called “sharing economy” are “remarkably efficient machines for producing near minimum-wage jobs.”
The evidence he marshals is weak. More importantly, he makes no distinction across goods and services being shared. Those distinctions are crucial.
Published data show that the number of passengers using Washington Dulles airport is declining while the number using Washington Reagan National is increasing. Lori Aratani of the Washington Post takes a stab at explaining why. She falls prey to the spin of the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, which seems inclined to “solve” its Dulles problem by lobbying Congress to make Reagan National less useful.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA, or "Metro" to locals) has opened the first 0.8 mile segment of its planned 5-mile "premium transit service" between the Braddock Road Metro station in Alexandria and the Crystal City Metro station in Arlington.
What are the economics of this new service?
Frequent flier programs were intended to create brand loyalty, particularly among business travelers, thereby creating a margin for competition other than price. Over the years, airlines have debased frequent flier miles as a currency by “printing money” — creating vastly more miles than they intend to allow customers to redeem. Airlines sop up these excess miles by unilaterally raising the “price” of frequent flier tickets, directly (by increasing the number of miles required to redeem) or indirectly (such as by restricting the number of seats eligible for awards). They have to be careful, though, because this undermines efforts to encourage brand loyalty.
The most recent restrictive practice in frequent flier programs is to award miles based not on mileage flown but on dollars spent. That has predictable effects on the market, and as a recent article shows, it exacerbates a longstanding conflict of interest between business travelers and the companies that pay them to travel. Read More →