2 October 1996
To Whom It May Concern
RE: THE POTENTIAL OF THE "RUF" SYSTEM
I have been studying the problems of urban mass transportation system since 1968 and have published approximately 100 papers. My major concern has been in two areas: dealing with the financial deficits of transit systems, and working on measures that might lure people out of cars and onto transit.
I have been following the development of the RUF system for about three years, and have participated in extensive discussions of it.
I strongly believe that the RUF system offers our only hope for luring people out of cars, and it has the side advantage of serving the old, the young, and the poor at the same time.
RUF may turn out to be more expensive than private cars, viewed from the narrow perspective of the individual, not from societys perspective. But even so, it is far cheaper than the light rail systems being built around the U.S. The Los Angeles light rail systems, for example, are subsidized about forty thousand dollars per year to get one commuter out of a car. RUF could do the job for less than a tenth that cost.
RUF is an exceptionally promising concept and offers our only realistic hope for improving urban transportation. I strongly urge you to proceed with the necessary feasibility studies.
Professor of Economics
Director, Graduate Program in Transportation Sciences
Associate Director, Institute of Transportation Studies