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Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit?

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Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit?

Old 06-06-19, 09:38 AM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
That's not the way it works.

Minimum wage employees walk, bike, take transit, drive old cheap cars, or get rides. Those employees are not compensated with pay for transportation.

People that make wages above minimum are paid for the job they are hired to do. Higher value to the employer gets that employee more money. That increase in money could be used to change that employee's housing-to-transportation cost ratio. Closer to work might mean more expensive housing, but potentially less expensive transportation. These employees are not compensated for transportation, they are paid a competitive rate based on what their job is and what part of the world the job is located.
The competitive rate is based on norms and standards that factor in costs of living. If costs of living are lower because overall transportation and infrastructure costs are lower in the economy as a whole, then that savings can be distributed across the spectrum of wage levels and industries.

The employers that do pay their employees compensation for transportation are usually employers that hire their employees to drive their own personal vehicles for the job.
Ok, I get it now. You are talking about explicitly compensating for transportation. That's not what I mean. I'm talking about transportation and infrastructure costs factoring into the general cost of living implicitly.

Like has already been mentioned, transit infrastructure is paid for by the people with taxes*, bonds, and tolls.
Mostly by businesses, actually, who pass the costs on to their customers as higher prices, rents, fees, etc.

Sure, cost of living is part of what has driven wages up, and you touched on housing which is a big part of it. Plus, the USA has some pretty high living standards even if you leave cars and housing out of the picture. How many of us would go without air conditioning, smart phones, the internet, etc. One landline phone per household sure is cheaper than four smartphones in the same house. My bills certainly were much smaller back when all I had was a land line phone and books to read. So were everyone else's bills too.
All those things are separate issue from transportation and infrastructure costs. The costs of everything would go down if driving went down to a fraction of total transportation, because large numbers of people would simply not need as much money to afford the same standard of living as they did when they drove. Prices would be lower and so would their personal transportation costs.

Many people would reject this, however, because they are easily tricked into believing that less efficient things are worth more because they are more wasteful; like when people pay more for less concentrated laundry soap because the bottle is bigger so they think they're getting more for their money when in fact the number of washes they get from the bottle is the same as a smaller bottle with more concentrated soap.
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Old 06-07-19, 06:42 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Mostly by businesses, actually, who pass the costs on to their customers as higher prices, rents, fees, etc.
No, pretty much average Joe taxpayer
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/...ds/1359886001/
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Old 06-20-19, 08:20 PM
  #128  
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Old 08-05-19, 10:51 AM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
You take a lot of things I've said and re-weave them to mean something different than the reason they were said when I said them.

The bottom line is this: If government is investing money in building train lines, or even bus systems, where everyone is getting paid enough to afford car payments and driving expenses such as insurance; then the funding of alternative transportation is effectively subsidizing the automotive industry and culture.

That's just the reality; and it's the reason that when alternative transportation such as trains and bus systems fail or are inadequate, people can continue to afford to go on driving.

If all those projects weren't funded at all, and if road and highway infrastructure were funded at a minimum level, then many more people simply wouldn't have the incomes necessary to afford cars and driving and the US wouldn't be able to give up on mass transit,i.e. because people would have to pool their resources instead of being able to buy one car per person or even per household.
I was looking for the " like" button on this post,, lol. Yes cars are subsidized heavily by the government. If you remove all the tax dollars that ho towards keeping the car culture going. It would make driving cars as transit simply economically impossible. The side effect for cyclist would be amazing if it all went to public transit . Can you imagine cycling with no cars ?? Road up keep would be probably next to nothing, heck they could do gravel roads and groom once a year. You could just run a mountain bike or a endurance bike .😁
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Old 08-08-19, 02:49 AM
  #130  
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And who/what would pay for those roads? You're missing something being a bit simplistic.

Those roads cost millions of dollars a mile to build and without them you'd have a bunch of goat trails.

I don't want to run on gravel and I'm guessing that not many people really do.

I've had to and it's Phun.
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Old 09-30-19, 10:29 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
And who/what would pay for those roads? You're missing something being a bit simplistic.

Those roads cost millions of dollars a mile to build and without them you'd have a bunch of goat trails.

I don't want to run on gravel and I'm guessing that not many people really do.

I've had to and it's Phun.
It is far from simplistic. It would require a shift in the car culture world and economy we live in today. Yes roads would be easier to maintain, they could be way smaller and would not get destroyed by trucks, etc. I doubt we will ever see this. The force of cars and oil is just to strong, the genie has been let out of the bottle a long time ago. We are just too attached to cars , and cities and suburbs are designed for them. Obviously
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Old 11-18-19, 03:19 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post

.. it isn't that far-fetched that we could see a trend of debt as grounds for dismissal, in which case only people who own their vehicles outright without debt would be allowed to apply and/or remain employed.
Hogwash
Nothing says "dependable employee" like a stiff portfolio of crippling debt. If had had my way, my company would employ exclusively young, single dads with child support payments, student loans on useless degrees and really nice cars. Rock Solid Workforce.


As for the job moving, I can imagine an employer saying they only want to hire people who live within five miles of the workplace and if you drive you're fired.
You have a vivid imagination. With the posible exception of some niche market business, there is no employer in the world that gives a rats arse how the workers get there, only that they do so, on time, with great regularity.
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Old 11-18-19, 04:30 PM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
Hogwash
Nothing says "dependable employee" like a stiff portfolio of crippling debt. If had had my way, my company would employ exclusively young, single dads with child support payments, student loans on useless degrees and really nice cars. Rock Solid Workforce.


You have a vivid imagination. With the posible exception of some niche market business, there is no employer in the world that gives a rats arse how the workers get there, only that they do so, on time, with great regularity.
Exactly... and I can't understand why people would voluntarily make themselves a slave... I could/did, say good riddance to many a job that required more than I wanted to give, and I could do that because I lived within my budget and did not NEED a paycheque EVERY Friday...
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Old 02-13-20, 08:03 PM
  #134  
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Suburbia

People blame suburbia and sprawl and that is correct in a way.. if we had high speed trains leaving and going regularly to suburbs. , the problems is getting to your house , once you at your stop at your suburb .. I think at least in the cities we need to improve transit. Too much pollution and traffic is mind boggling now.
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Old 09-27-20, 07:35 PM
  #135  
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Several factors have contributed this

I lived in DTLA for a long time and I didn't have a car, because I couldn't afford one. I relied on my bicycle and public transit to get me around. It wasn't too bad for me, overall, except when I had to travel to a place like Orange County, because they didn't have a light rail system, and the bus system was great. I took full advantage of the blue, red, green, gold, and expo lines. I HATE riding the MTA buses. Blue buses, Long Beach Transit, and OC transit were okay rides. Sometimes the trains were crowded...especially when school was in session, but most of the time they were not bad. The light rail system in LA has gotten much better, however it needs improvement, and OC needs a good light rail system. With that being said...why do American dislike mass transit.


I can only speak on my experiences with public transit and they're limited to Southern California and NYC. The problem IMHO with public transit is the fact, that bus lines are often crowded, and the people in Socal are used to being in their cars. The culture in Socal is centered around the automobile. Yes I know that was done on purpose by the oil companies back in the 40's and 50's. It is what it is. The problem in LA is the fact that the trains and especially the busses are crowded, as in sardine can, crowded, to where you have to fight your way through the crowd to get off on your stop. The other problems for me at least is waiting forever to catch a bus on certain routes...especially on the holidays and weekends. On top of that, dealing with the homeless on the bus. I'm not getting into the reasons why they're homeless, but I will go into the fact they had bad body odor and carried diseases. I got staph sores on three different occasions, because I let a homeless person sit next to me. There were also people on the bus that want to start fight. One even started a fight with me and bit me in two different places, but that turned out to be a good thing in the long run, because it gave me a moment of clarity and caused me to reexamine things. I was constantly on guard and that contributed to my heart attack in 2018. Needless to say I was living a warzone. I didn't have any problems with NYC subway system.


I liked using the subway system in NYC, because I could get to just anyplace in that city via the subway system. I lived in Hackensack NJ, and I would drive my car to Jersey City, and park it there, then take the path to the city. It was pretty great, because driving a car in NYC is a nightmare. I'd rather take the subways, and walk a short distance to my destination.


Mass transit in certain places is a great idea...like LA, but there needs to be more light rail service in that city, in order for it to be effective. Mass transit isn't practical where I live at now, because its a rural area, and there's no way I can bike from eastern TN, to Asheville NC, to get to my doctors appointments. A lack of personal space, is probably the biggest reason why public transit hasn't taken off in the US like it has in other parts of the world. That, limited funding, and the fact that American has been steered (pardon the pun,) into a culture that's focused around an automobile.
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Old 09-29-20, 07:22 AM
  #136  
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A public transport system is the most effective when it is packed.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:33 AM
  #137  
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There's a limit though

Originally Posted by StargazeCyclist View Post
A public transport system is the most effective when it is packed.
There's a limit though. A train packed so full that people have to fight their way to the door when the train or bus stops at a station or bus stop is little much.
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Old 09-30-20, 06:22 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by StargazeCyclist View Post
A public transport system is the most effective when it is packed.
> has COVID mooted this thread ?
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Old 10-06-20, 03:57 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by jack pot View Post
> has COVID mooted this thread ?
Probably. I know that Metro's ridership numbers were, and are, very low compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

https://www.houstonpress.com/news/me...iders-11489121
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