Legality at the National level

The Law

The most pertinent federal law regarding the legality of jitneys is Federal Transit Act 13c. The act includes the following:

Interpretation and Effect

In Robert Cervero’s words, Section 13C has been interpreted to decree that “transit employees must not be adversely affected by any program involving federal grants.”7 In other words, the federal government cannot award grants to any transit that would compete with busses, and in this case that competition would be Jitneys.

This law has been used to drive public transit’s competition out of a market! In Norfolk, Virginia, some of public transits less profitable routes were handed over to a private dial-a-ride service(a form of paratransit which often includes jitneys), and in response public transit unions successfully sued under federal transit act 13C, eliminating their competition and restoring public transit’s control of an inefficient, expensive route.7 The problem with such a settlement is that, while it is good for unions, it is not much good for anyone else; public transit loses money on the route, and for the people of Norfolk, an efficient patchwork of transportation in certain areas is supplanted by an innefecient transit system.