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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could avoid all traffic with smarter subway lines and light rail? Pose this question to any transportation economist and he or she will quickly state back to you – that’s the very question that keeps me working un-Godly hours every day to solve. The solution is far from simple, as the simple solution would be to build more subway and light rail lines and see what happens. Well, not only is that a pricey pilot test, and one that no politician would bet their future on, but cities have run simulations and the results are far from rosy.

In 2015, Providence, Rhode Island voters were presented with a short, light rail line project. To purchase the rail cars and construct the whole deal was forecasted to cost approximately $100 million. The estimates were 2,600 riders would occupy the rail line per day and to finance the project Providence would [...]

Who is M. King Hubbert? We’ll give you a hint – he’s not the Los Angeles Laker’s new coach, nor is he an astronaut or Trump’s personal assistant. Hubbert was a geophysicist with Shell (you likely never guessed that) and wrote a seminal paper in 1956 on the future of oil production. The general gist – production would increase until it doesn’t (the peak), and at that point take a precipitous plunge. To Hubbert’s credit, oil production did peak in 1970 which drove many to laud the gentleman as a visionary, and oil prophet.

Now, many of Hubber’s predictions were relatively spot on, but for those of us who have been alive over the past decade know darn well that production has not followed Hubbert’s economic curve. While in 2010 crude production in Russia and Saudi Arabia continued (with the U.S. far behind), U.S. production began to surge soon thereafter. The pop from 2010 [...]

In Part I we detailed some rides that are Jurassic in nature. We continue down this time machine in Part II.

Toyota 4Runner

A definite classic, the 4Runner, one of the original SUVs, and if you’re Toyota, why mess with a good thing, right? Well, right or wrong, it is what it is. The 4Runner last underwent a redesign in 2010 and the rationale is the following has been so loyal, what’s the point? Can’t argue with the sales numbers nor the price. At $35,110 for this car, there is not much that competes from a value perspective.

Nissan 370Z

Officially part of the “10 year plus redesign club,” the 370Z is a two-seat coupe, gorgeous on all sides, but is suffering from some sales woes. In 2018 alone units dropped by 24.8%, down to a paltry 3,468. Yikes, not exactly moving the needle, Nissan will need to decide with the 370Z before it [...]

Fun title, right? Sounds like something out of the Flintstones. While it is unlikely that if someone tried to sell you a “Jurassic car” you’d leap for joy with your credit card in your hand, ready to plunk down those hard-earned dollars. Yet there are plenty of Jurassic cars on the road today that are not old from a mechanics perspective, but indeed have changed very little on their aesthetics.

Why would a manufacturer keep an older model looking … old? Lots of reasons, some good, some bad, and some are indeed ready for a change or the scrapheap awaits. Let’s review …   

Jaguar XJ

Last seen under the knife way back in 2011, as a large sedan the overall market has already communicated that demand is at an all-time low, so expecting a costly re-design is likely not going to occur. At a starting price of $75,400, in the era of SUVs [...]

We’ve all done it at one point in our adult lives. No, not that. We’re referring to e-signing of course, the type of signature that now holds the same legal standing as a handwritten signature. Now, the level of security that electronic signatures bring to the table indeed does vary. Technically speaking, a qualified e-signature is one implemented through, and verified by a digital certificate. Said certificate has typically been encrypted through a signature-creating device which needs to be authenticated by a qualified trust service provider. Sounds rather layered, right?

A qualified trust service provider is a government approved entity that abides by strict guidelines, providing a valid time and date per signature (the act of signing). Nearly every major industry today has an e-signing component worked in, but some are much more advanced than others. Auto lenders and dealers are no strangers to e-signing, but they are looking to ramp up industry wide [...]

Oddly enough, one of the most overlooked items when considering a new car is how much that car is going to cost you annually moving forward. It’s not sexy, nor interesting if we’re being brutally honest, but there is a difference between paying say $2,000 in annual maintenance costs and $1,000. In fact, that difference is $12,000 in savings per year. Do we have your attention?

Seeking out cars that have readily available spare parts, spare parts that aren’t going to require taking out a loan to purchase, and cars that won’t bust the checking account in the first five years. We have a great list here of such rides, and many are sexy picks to boot!

Toyota Carolla

Talk about cheap – $710 of annual maintenance costs! It likely does not get any cheaper than this and what’s even more incredible – during the first year Carolla owners do not report spending more than [...]

For all you Ford Bronco freaks, it’s been a long time coming, right? Yes, it has, and one of the most iconic U.S. models is now making its way back and this writer for one could not be happier. In the same way perhaps as the Camaro, the F150, Mustang, etc., the Bronco is inherently U.S. centric. It is a beloved 4X4 when 4X4s were used and valued as true off-road vehicles. To see Ford, roll the dice, and bring the Bronco back after 20 plus years, it’s a heartening home-coming if there ever was one.

Killed off in 1996, Ford announced the Bronco’s return at the North American International Auto Show in 2017. The rumor had it that post the infamous O.J. Simpson freeway flee, Ford management did not want to continue having the car associated with such a complex celebrity. But odds are the decision to nick the Bronco had little to do [...]

Want to hear something super depressing? The average taxi in the heart of midtown Manhattan travels 4.7 mph. Honestly, you’d move quicker on foot. But New Yorkers, despite inching along at snail rates, are not opting for the subway, and vehicle registration is up 9 percent since 2012. The city had had enough and in January of last year a task-force was formed to attack the issue.

So, what was the result? A 2021 plan which includes the establishment of a fee for trucks and cars entering the most hectic area of Manhattan (which is roughly 60th Street to the south). Congestion plan pricing, which is not new to major metropolitan cities, seems to be the smartest fit here. Taken right out of an Economics 101 textbook, if you make it inconvenient and too expensive to drive in any given area then the traffic will eventually evaporate.

Fortunately for New Yorkers there is a [...]

Your humble scribe was at a party a week ago and someone mentioned that there is an app you can integrate with Waze where one can download different voices (celebrities, politicians, etc) to serve as the “voice” of the app all the while directing you (in the case of Waze) through the city. The thought of Eddie Murphy, The Rock, Jack Nicholson or Beyonce telling you to turn north on 13th Street, George Bush chiming in that there is a crash on the 101 Freeway at the Norfolk Exit, or LeBron James taking you through a tunnel was in one word – awesome! This app has not been found, nor was there much time spent looking for it, but it did spark some interest.

We like familiarity. And something familiar is essentially something we’ve grown accustomed to over time. Things become familiar either the more you do them or the longer you’re exposed to [...]

Investing in anything requires effort. This can be anything from investing your time, money, both, or your heart. There are tons of investments that deal with the heart – understandably more emotionally driven that require time … and money as well.

Environmentally focused investors are investors seeking a return, but in a responsible manner. Also known as socially responsible investing (SRI), this is an injection of heart that is now big business. A process that considers both social and environmental factors, investment managers will toggle back and forth from the traditional quantitative world and more qualitative, social and environmental arenas.

The ride-sharing giant, Lyft, celebrated its initial public offering (IPO) on March 29th of this year. They had some lofty goals, and in many ways fulfilled them reaching $24.7 billion. To put that in perspective, Amazon debuted in 1997 with just under $1 billion, eBay one year later at $1.1 billion, Facebook in [...]

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