About Daniel Baldwin Hess (Edit profile)

Daniel Baldwin Hess holds the PhD in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (dbhess@ap.buffalo.edu).


Daniel Baldwin Hess

Surplus vehicles left behind in New Orleans by evacuees are a grim reminder of the excessive number of cars in the United States, where vehicle ownership rates are greater than in any other nation on earth. After Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans on August 29, 2005, flood waters from Lake Pontchartrain and the intracoastal canals submerged an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 cars unused in the evacuation of the city. Near the 17th Street Canal, gushing water overturned cars and piled them one on top of another, and parked cars crashed through garage walls into neighboring back yards.

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THE ACCESS ALMANAC: Unlimited Access, Prepaid Transit at Universities

Jeffrey R. Brown, Daniel Baldwin Hess, and Donald Shoup

Imagine a transportation program that increases transit ridership, reduces traffic congestion, saves energy, cleans the air, and costs very little. Many American colleges offer such a program, and they have given it a variety of names—such as BruinGO, UPass, ClassPass, and SuperTicket. We refer collectively to these programs as Unlimited Access. Unlimited Access turns student identification cards into public transit passes. The university pays the transit agency an annual lump sum based on expected student ridership, and the transit agency accepts student identification cards as transit passes. For every student on any day, a bus ride to campus (or anywhere else) is free. Unlimited Access is not free transit, but is instead a new way to pay for transit.

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