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Bikeshare, Scooters, Cars, Trains, Bridges: One Agency to Rule Them All

For transport to truly enhance quality of life in a city, one regional agency should have jurisdiction over everything transportation-related in a metro area.
A bus at San Francisco's new bus terminal, opened this year. In San Francisco one agency controls nearly every form of transport within city boundaries.
A bus at San Francisco's new bus terminal, opened this year. In San Francisco one agency controls nearly every form of transport within city boundaries.Lorin Eleni Gill/AP

The current management of transportation in American cities is, to put it mildly, balkanized. Powers to regulate, tax, and allocate budgets for modes like transit, automobiles, and taxis are divided across numerous transit authorities, state agencies, and city departments. The predictable result: organizational friction and confusion about who is ultimately responsible for achieving policy goals such as equity, safety, and the reduction of pollution and congestion.

This situation is not sustainable, especially in an era when new mobility services like ride-hail and scooters have made the pursuit of regional mobility goals more challenging—and more important—than ever before. It’s time to consider a dramatic step: consolidation of all mobility oversight into a single regional authority.