I've spent more time on this subject than I can afford right now, so
this will probably be my last post on it for a few months (unless final
copyediting is needed). After mid-June, I will probably be able to spend
some time collecting signatures, but I cannot commit to that. And I try
to donate money only to organizations that my husband and I are both
enthusiastic about. So the following is just a suggestion for those
making formal proposals.
I suggest that someone propose a ballot initiative like the following:
"Any street-legal zero-emissions vehicle (as defined by the California
Air Resources Board or its successor) shall be allowed to pick up and
discharge passengers at any Muni bus stop within the City and County of
San Francisco, provided that it leaves the bus stop as soon as safety
allows when a bus is approaching. And any charge for transporting
passengers in such vehicles shall be determined by negotiations between
the drivers and the passengers."
I put in the part about the California Air Resources Board because its
site was the first listing in a Google search for "zero-emissions vehicle":
A nongovernmental certification organization would be better if someone
can find one that is likely to be in business for many years to come.
Here are my arguments for making the proposal:
* It is simple and therefore easy to explain quickly to potential signers.
* It does not require any new transit stops, so the issues of eminent
domain and privatization are avoided.
* It does not compromise libertarian principles. It increases
opportunities for providing transit without creating any new government
* The zero-emissions requirement will make San Francisco a nicer place
in which to live. Air pollution is assault, so I think that advocating
legislation against it is as valid as advocating legislation against
other types of assault. I would not want to outlaw *all* polluting
vehicles in the city at this time, because that would cause great
financial hardship, but nobody has an investment in jitneys yet.
* Voters who think about it will probably realize that the
zero-emissions requirement will "naturally" (without regulation) limit
the number of vehicles at the stops. In the ballot pamphlet, we can
argue that if the jitneys become so popular that buses have to wait for
them frequently, the city can replace subsidized buses with transit
vouchers for low-income residents.
* The zero-emissions requirement will make it easier to obtain
signatures, endorsements, and votes--without compromising libertarian
principles--and will demonstrate that the Libertarian Party is not
opposed to *all* environmental laws. (If any of you are, please explain
why, and if any of you are opposed to all laws against air pollution but
are not opposed to all laws against other types of assault, please
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