Efficient transportation is a global issue. Because the effects of transportation on people, business, economies, and the environment are so pervasive, interest in public policies affecting transportation industries is intense. Bitzan's research has spanned public policy issues related to railroads, airlines, motor carriers, waterways, and public transit. As part of that research, he's examined a range of economic issues related to those policy implications, including transportation costs, energy consumption, intermodal competition, industry investment, industry structure, pricing, profitability, and regulatory change.
Bitzan is currently performing a study for the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Freight Railroad Costs that examines the extent of scale economies in the freight railroad industry, explores the implications for differential pricing, and analyzes the implications on agriculture and policy. This research will provide an important contribution to public policy debates, as the Surface Transportation Board considers ways to reform its procedures for determining maximum reasonable rail prices.