University of New Hampshire Law Review


[Excerpt] “Mass transit in the United States is moribund: it plays a meaningful transportation role in only a handful of American regions. It is clear that the status quo—where state-created special-purpose districts (SPDs) provide limited regional mass transit options and new mass transit construction progresses at a glacial pace—is a colossal failure. This failure necessitates a new model of mass transit ownership and management. It is time for the region’s central city to own and operate the region’s mass transit system extraterritorially, free from significant control by the outer cities (the suburbs) and the state. This article calls this arrangement the “Core Plan.” The key advantages of the Core Plan are: (1) the re-politicization of the mass transit planning process via the heavily politicized central city, allowing the public to effectively express its policy desires while reinvigorating the mass transit debate; (2) the central city’s significant institutional competence concerning regional transportation operations, as shown by the central city’s ownership of large international airports and systems of airports that serve entire regions; and (3) the faster pace at which the central city will be able to build mass transit versus the status quo of SPDs. The Core Plan reflects and integrates the United States’ long history of municipal extraterritorial powers, where cities own property and operate businesses beyond their territorial limits, including regional transportation operations (international airports). The Core Plan returns power over the region’s mass transit to the local level, while dramatically speeding up the mass transit construction and integration process.”

Repository Citation

Jeffrey Baltruzak, The Core Plan or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Central City: Shifting Control of Regional Mass Transit to the Central City, 5 Pierce L. Rev. 271 (2007), available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol5/iss2/4