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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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I'm still waiting for the new phone book.


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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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Old 06-24-21, 09:54 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
100 years ago, the choice was "hoofing" it on foot for miles and miles and miles, or sitting down in comfort and taking a streetcar for a few pennies.

These days it's a choice between riding in your own air conditioned car that goes when and where you want it to, and plays the music you wanna hear, vs. some depressing bus or train you have to wait for, amid noise, filth, and people spitting on the ground, while you hope the bus/train is running on time, you can find a seat, you don't get mugged, and none of your stuff gets stolen.
Responding to old post......

Pretty much the second paragraph. And I live across the street from a Bus Line, and can walk to the Light Rail in a half an hour, or wait for the Bus to take me there. The Bus described in the second paragraph is in the city, not really out here in the burbs.

I have been using a car for months, but cycle around with frequency.

If folks can afford to drive ya know what they do?
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Old 06-25-21, 05:29 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
Responding to old post......

Pretty much the second paragraph. And I live across the street from a Bus Line, and can walk to the Light Rail in a half an hour, or wait for the Bus to take me there. The Bus described in the second paragraph is in the city, not really out here in the burbs.

I have been using a car for months, but cycle around with frequency.

If folks can afford to drive ya know what they do?
My firstborn (7 at the time) thought it would be fun for me and her to take public transportation to the natural history museum. We had a good time at the museum.

And public transportation was a great(!) lesson in how if everybody owns it, nobody owns it. Counterparty risks, incentives, our time has value, etc.

Dont kid yourself about SoCal public transport being sabotaged by corporate interests. Every city has their own lines, few of them link up.

One of my best friends told me about it taking over 2 hours to get from Torrance to Lakewood. We laughed when we realized how much faster a bike would have been.
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Old 07-03-21, 07:59 PM
  #142  
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^
They just started a few free bus/circulator type lines in Baltimore County North in, and around Towson.

Still folks will fight a line going through their neighborhood. That's why the Light Rail doesn't stop along Bellona Avenue. Rides by it.

Where's the nicer parts of the area? Not near a bus line. Some exceptions in the city. Not the burbs. Unless walking 45 minutes plus, or crossing roads with poor lighting that go under highway overpasses. And certainly not a great idea to cycle around these places at night with almost no visibility.

(The power went out in the summer two years ago while I was on my evening coffee walk, an area that I don't need a flashlight that is well lit by a middle school was so dark I could not see my hand in front of my face. Lasted about five minutes. The entire neighborhood was pitch black! )

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Old 08-23-21, 03:33 AM
  #143  
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No mystery, have you used public transportation in America? It is slow, unreliable, dirty, and dangerous. It is hard to upgrade and improve because labor unions and political corruption make it more expensive to paint a train station than it formerly cost to build one. Some of you may have read the story about an NYC transit worker bringing home $411,000 in one year, and we all know that any new public transport system always ends up costing several times the contracted cost, and is usually finished years or even decades behind schedule.

Here in Japan we have great public transportation. But almost all of it is privately owned and operated for profit. And there are no unions in the American sense. Unions in Japan exist to protect workers rights, anyone can join, there are no dues. But unions do not lobby for higher pay and benefits. Japan’s public transportation used to be government owned and operated, but unreliable service and huge financial losses caused them to be privatized. Now they are clean, safe, extremely punctual, and cheap to use. The government owns a minority percentage of these lines, but has no say in day-to-day operations. Instead of squandering vast amounts of money, the Japanese government receives a substantial dividend.
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Old 08-23-21, 11:06 PM
  #144  
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The 411K Rail worker? It was 461K......and they were charged with fraud

New York Times

One night two years ago, Thomas Caputo, a senior track worker for the Long Island Rail Road, put in for 15 hours of overtime for work he said he had done at the West Side Yard in Manhattan. His shift began at 4 p.m. and ended at 7 o’clock the next morning.

But, the authorities say, Mr. Caputo was somewhere else that evening: at a bowling alley in Patchogue, N.Y., more than 55 miles away, where he bowled three games, averaging a score of 196.

He took home an overtime payment of $1,217, the government said.

Mr. Caputo was one of five current and former employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority charged on Thursday with participating in an overtime fraud scheme that allowed them to become among the highest-paid employees at the agency, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said.

The defendants, who worked at the Long Island Rail Road and New York City Transit, frequently volunteered for lucrative overtime shifts and later claimed they had worked when they were in fact at home or other nonwork locations, or even on vacation, the prosecutors said.

Audrey Strauss, the acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said the scheme involved claims for “extraordinary, almost physically impossible, amounts of overtime.”

Mr. Caputo, 56, who retired in 2019 after three decades with the railroad, was listed in 2018 as the highest paid M.T.A. employee with total pay of more than $461,000, including about $344,000 in overtime. All five defendants each earned more than the salary of the M.T.A. chairman or Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who oversees the agency.

A lawyer for Mr. Caputo did not respond to a message from a reporter seeking comment. Mr. Caputo had been the railroad’s chief measurement officer, leading a crew on a track geometry car that inspects the rails to identify areas that need repairs.

In 2018, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday, Mr. Caputo claimed to have worked 3,864 overtime hours, on top of 1,682 regular hours.

If he had worked every single day that year (which he did not), the complaint said, his claims would average about 10 hours of overtime each day for the entire year, beyond his regular 40-hour workweek.

Another defendant, Michael Gundersen, 42, a maintenance-of-way supervisor at New York City Transit, was accused of reporting he had worked long shifts in March 2018, for which he was paid $2,481. But evidence showed that at the same time, he had hotel reservations in Atlantic City and tickets for concerts there on successive nights, a second complaint charged.

During other periods that Mr. Gundersen was paid thousands of dollars for claimed overtime, he was on vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia, participating in a 5K footrace in New Jersey, and on a family vacation at a resort in the Hudson Valley, the complaint said. Mr. Gunderson’s lawyer declined to comment.
Mr. Caputo and the four other defendants each earned more than $348,000 total in 2018, the authorities said. The others ranked fourth, fifth, 11th and 12th that year in pay among all M.T.A. employees.The charges come at a time when the authority is confronting its worst financial crisis because of the pandemic and a stalemate over federal aid. Without a financial bailout, the agency has said that it will have to slash subway and bus service and that more than 9,000 workers could lose their jobs.

In a news conference on Thursday in the State Capitol, Mr. Cuomo noted that the five individuals charged represented a tiny fraction of the M.T.A.’s work force, saying that there were “bad apples” in every profession. He said the M.T.A. needed to have systems in place to monitor its employees and their bills.

Still, he said, “You will never eradicate all bad actors in any system.”

The U.S. attorney’s office investigated the scheme with the F.B.I. and the transportation authority’s inspector general.

“This type of double-dealing directly contributes to rising M.T.A. fares for the average, hardworking commuter,” said William F. Sweeney Jr., head of the F.B.I.’s New York office.

Tim Minton, a spokesman for the transportation authority, said, “The alleged conduct by these M.T.A. employees is an egregious betrayal of public trust.”

He said the agency had undertaken aggressive overtime controls, which had resulted in a reduction of $105 million in overtime in 2019 alone.

The M.T.A. would “continue to root out waste, fraud and abuse wherever it occurs,” Mr. Minton said, “and will continue cooperating fully with this critically important investigation.”

The three other defendants were Joseph Ruzzo, 56, a retired Long Island Rail Road track foreman; and John Nugent, 50, and Joseph Balestra, 51, who are still working as track foremen.

Mr. Ruzzo’s lawyer declined to comment. Mr. Nugent’s lawyer, William Wexler, said his client denied “that he wrongfully obtained any monies from the rail road.” Mr. Balestra’s attorney, John LoTurco, said his client “vehemently denies all charges” and “adamantly asserts his innocence.”

The New York Times reported in May 2019 that the prosecutors had subpoenaed pay records for Mr. Caputo and more than a dozen other employees at the Long Island Rail Road and New York City Transit.

The huge overtime payments made to Mr. Caputo and other M.T.A. employees were revealed a month earlier by the Empire Center for Public Policy, a conservative think tank in Albany. Its research showed that 33 M.T.A. employees earned more than $300,000 in 2018, with almost all receiving large amounts of overtime pay.

Each defendant was charged with one count of federal program fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The charges come more than a decade after the Long Island Rail Road was caught up in a scandal over disability payments. A New York Times investigation had found that nearly every career employee who retired received a disability pension, even though many continued to lead active lives. More than 30 people — railroad workers, doctors and a union official — pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges. END.

Many of those privately run rail lines are closing, or have closed. Unless you are in Tokyo (One of the biggest Cities in the World), or going from one major City to another close by you may not have a great public transit option. Here in Japan = sky high costs!

I am trying to figure out how I would have carried those Klipsch, JBL, Sansui or Totem Mani Speakers I found in the last couple months that I had no idea I would find the day I took the CRV out. Or made the couple thousand I did off of those speakers.....(I kept the Mani's)

Oh, and yes I have road Public Transportation Numerous times, and yes, it can be all those negative things. But mostly from my personnel experience it is not.

Bus line right across the street.

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Old 08-25-21, 06:45 PM
  #145  
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^^^^ well I'm against all mass transit from here on because of this ..............................................annnnnd this Covid scare
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Old 08-26-21, 11:32 AM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
The 411K Rail worker? It was 461K......and they were charged with fraud
...
The huge overtime payments made to Mr. Caputo and other M.T.A. employees were revealed a month earlier by the Empire Center for Public Policy, a conservative think tank in Albany. Its research showed that 33 M.T.A. employees earned more than $300,000 in 2018, with almost all receiving large amounts of overtime pay.

Each defendant was charged with one count of federal program fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

.
That's small potatoes compared to the theft of public money by investors and executives of private companies. And they don't get 10 years.
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Old 08-26-21, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
That's small potatoes compared to the theft of public money by investors and executives of private companies. And they don't get 10 years.
How did you get away with it?
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Old 08-27-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
How did you get away with it?
?? I guess by not being a 1%-er
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Old 08-27-21, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
?? I guess by not being a 1%-er
C'mon, tell....
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Old 09-04-21, 07:18 AM
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We get what we pay for. We don't invest in transit and prefer to pay for highways that increase congestion. We have no middle development which is between urban and suburban. The Big three changed the laws for streets, and highways away from transit and ran transit systems into the ground. Now we have congestion everywhere. Name one city with a freeway where congestion was relieved? We keep investing in solutions that don't work.
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