Anti-trust exemptions for freight carts on the public bus?

    I have found a book on anti-trust exemptions. There are three categories of exemption.

   This initial survey is to find examples in law of antitrust exemptions that model the law needed to  enable the public bus to carry freight carts. 

   There are several areas of law that have operated against public bus service changes. "Unfair competition" is one area and in the United States, much of the law is called antitrust law.

  Anti-trust law has a long record of being a very mixed public benefit. See this Wikipedia entry:

Wikipedia Sherman Antitrust Act

      Category 1: General exemptions from antitrust. There have been no new exemptions in this category in 50 years.

     Category 2: Transactional or event specific exemptions from anti-trust law. Here is a link to a Google Books web page:

Federal statutory exemptions from antitrust law, American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, 2007, page 38  

     Category 3: Modifications of anti-trust law for the benefit of some class or activity. 

Two anti-trust exemption models appear in the Category 2 listing on the URL above.

    First, on page 42 is a description of the anti-trust exemption called "Collective agreements among motor carriers." 

     I don't consider this a model to be studied without regard to the poor outcome of the exemption. Frankly, my contact with motor carriers in the home furnishings transport business means this exemption is a license to charge huge amounts for moving service. The family goes along with the high charge due to the moving expense deduction in the Federal tax code. A side effect of the collective agreement is cheaper strategies like renting a 32 foot trailer and loading it yourself are not available.

  Second on page 48 is the "Surface Transportation Act". This requires close reading. 

 Third on page 52, a Category 3 exemption is the "Local Government Antitrust Act". This law also requires close reading because it is a very confining statute. The exemption is counter balanced because the statute also allows local governments to be sued using anti-trust laws.

Switch focus to clarifying the anti-trust and fair competition problems.

Using a digital camera to count the number of people riding a public bus. 

     It is hard to slow down the YouTube video player enough to count the riders. In the camera, viewing the video frame by frame I counted 3 riders, maybe as many as 5. 

     To get better results the camera needs to be on a tripod, set up and focused before the bus arrives. The bus window needs to be backlit. The camera should be at bus window height and about 15 degrees off of perpendicular to show multiple riders sitting in one row of seats.

Video of passing bus shows 3 to 5 passengers on a Sunday afternoon, 2 miles from start of route

I feel this blog needs to research the "anti-trust", "unfair competition" and "common carrier" conflicts triggered by putting carts on the public bus.

Enumeration of the legal problems that need to be addressed if the public bus carries carts, unattended carts, night-time freight, airline passengers with luggage, shopping carts from the grocery store, operates as an un-attended autonomous vehicle. 
  • One argument used is buses offer "unfair competition" to private carriers like airport bus services. (I think I need to figure out the famous problem for non-lawyers, is this a tort?)
  • Another blocking strategy has been a limiting clause in Federal grants and bond issues to purchase buses, the vehicles are limited "to the transport of passengers and their incidental luggage only."
  • If buses carry parcels or merchandise the bus is replacing either a taxi or a parcel delivery service such as United Parcel. 
  • The first legal problem is UPS is a regulated, permitted private carrier and the bus is not equipped with a permit. 
  • The second legal problem is the carrier is  a private firm and the bus is mostly funded with public funds. What are the laws and what is the structure of the reasoning that stops the bus from doing this kind of work?

  • The public bus can't carry shopping carts because California has a "Shopping cart theft law" that really limits how far a shopper can take a shopping cart.

  • Taxi and jitney services can't carry passengers and freight containers and carts between a bus stop and the surrounding community. Taxi services are basically obliged to provide the entire trip for a passenger. There is no way for a taxi to pick up 6 riders at a bus stop, be paid by the bus system, and ferry the people to their destinations for a flat rate.

Energy used by various modes of transportation - from the 1978 Busbook

"Calculated energy consumption for six forms of transportation" a graph published in the Busbook, March 1, 1978.

First page of footnotes for the graph.

Second page of footnotes for the graph.

How do we ramp-down the petroleum extraction machine?

"Perhaps the most telling measurement of a transport system' convenience is a hard, cold winter rain: any gaps in what shold be comprehensive service become brutally apparent. there is nothing like queuing up at an unsheltered bus stop in this kind of weather to make one wish for a true door-to-door transport system." Quoted from Tabor R. Stone, Beyond the Automobile, Reshaping the Transportation Environment, Prentice-Hall, 1971, pg. 105-106.

     One way of looking at the auto-industrial age is it is a huge social machine built around the extraction and burning of petroleum. 

    The micro-economic analysis of time, distance and the value of personal time shows that the private automobile simply can't be beat for enabling long daily drives, which in turn enables many people to earn the most money given their specific skills.

   That driving, in turn results in thousands of pounds of petroleum being burned per year per car per solitary driver.

  To put one's finger very precisely on one practice that needs to be drastically revised: We need to cut the rate of petroleum burning. How much? 

  Suppose we say the goal is for American society to use 10% as much petroleum in 50 years.

x = .1^^50        # What number multiplied by itself 50 times equals .1

x = .9550         # - 4.5% per year petroleum usage reduction


Rethinking the Transformation of the Auto-Industrial age

A surfer at Surfer's Beach, El Granada, California.
He is beautifully balanced with bent knees as he picks up speed on the rising wave face.
From a slow motion video shot 10-4-2009.

 Slow motion surfer

The proposal to put carts on the public bus is just a small scheme in the framework of the auto-industrial age.

  • Carts on the bus reduces CO2  emissions because it uses presently wasted capacity on public buses.
  • Carts on the bus has dismal time-distance performance compared to cars. Unattended cart transport dodges this performance problem. 
  • The post auto-industrial age will still need a way to move things around. If we described such a societal framework, what would it use if not carts?