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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 05-20-19, 07:59 AM
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Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit?

Some morning reading material.

"One hundred years ago, the United States had a public transportation system that was the envy of the world. Today, outside a few major urban centers, it is barely on life support. Even in New York City, subway ridership is well below its 1946 peak. Annual per capita transit trips in the U.S. plummeted from 115.8 in 1950 to 36.1 in 1970, where they have roughly remained since, even as population has grown."

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/w...=pocket-newtab
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Old 05-20-19, 08:26 AM
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It was getting in the way of profit maximization of the Oil, Tire and Automobile manufacturing Corporations..

And so transportation was privatized ..


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-gm-...ally-happened/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genera...car_conspiracy

and part of the problem was how, for example in Los Angeles the Redline trolley , publicly supported ,
getting people downtown , did not serve the parts of the sprawl being developed , and so those Developers called it 'Communist'.

[ ref : 'City of Quartz' , by Mike Davis]

So, those Private Interests, pushed to have it destroyed, rather than expanded..







..

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Old 05-20-19, 11:38 AM
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Because many people became convinced that public transit is for "poor people." And, or course, it's socialist. (Funny how people who think that don't have a problem with the Interstate Highway system, which is about as socialist as you can get.) Finally, there is a mindset that if doesn't and cannot benefit me, my tax dollars should not be spent on it. "If I have a 90 min. drive to work. A bus ride simply wouldn't be practicable, so my tax dollars shouldn't fund busses, especially when those busses are really only needed by the poor."
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Old 05-20-19, 02:51 PM
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Although I didn't clarify, the thread title is the title to the linked article. Turns out the article is from last summer, but I didn't see it pop up until this morning.
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Old 05-20-19, 03:00 PM
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It doesn’t have to be a big conspiracy it can just as easily be with a successful economy comes more private choices. There used to be hotels with shared bathrooms. People for some unknown reason wanted rooms with their own bathroom. At one time there were shared party lines for phones. Then everyone seemed to like having their own phone and number. Is it perceived today that public restrooms are only for the poor? If not why do people prefer their own restroom? If public phones are just as good and more sustainable than personal phones why are pay phones all but extinct? Cell phones are even replacing land lines in many homes.

I know now the beginning was long winded but it is to point out that at some point an economical successful society just seem to prefer their own things. A desire for assets and private property is stronger when it is “your” assets and private property. People, in my observations, seem to prefer their own timeframe to the public timeframe set by mass transit. People prefer a transit system that starts at their property line and ends at their destination. Mass transit has not offered a solution to that desire.

As as far as what the public is willing to pay for just who other than the tax payer should make that decision?

Last edited by Mobile 155; 05-20-19 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 05-20-19, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
It doesn’t have to be a big conspiracy it can just as easily be with a successful economy comes more private choices. There used to be hotels with shared bathrooms. People for some unknown reason wanted rooms with their own bathroom. At one time there were shared party lines for phones. Then everyone seemed to like having their own phone and number. Is it perceived today that public restrooms are only for the poor? If not why do people prefer their own restroom? If public phones are just as good and more sustainable than personal phones why are pay phones all but extinct? Cell phones are even replacing land lines in many homes.

I know now the beginning was long winded but it is to point out that at some point an economical successful society just seem to prefer their own things. A desire for assets and private property is stronger when it is “your” assets and private property. People, in my observations, seem to prefer their own timeframe to the public timeframe set by mass transit. People prefer a transit system that starts at their property line and ends at their destination. Mass transit has not offered a solution to that desire.

As as far as what the public is willing to pay for just who other than the tax payer should make that decision?
It was a conspiracy of everyone!
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Old 05-20-19, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
It was a conspiracy of everyone!
I saw what you did there. LOL
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Old 05-20-19, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Some morning reading material.

"One hundred years ago, the United States had a public transportation system that was the envy of the world. Today, outside a few major urban centers, it is barely on life support. Even in New York City, subway ridership is well below its 1946 peak. Annual per capita transit trips in the U.S. plummeted from 115.8 in 1950 to 36.1 in 1970, where they have roughly remained since, even as population has grown."

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/w...=pocket-newtab
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.
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Old 05-20-19, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Because many people became convinced that public transit is for "poor people." And, or course, it's socialist. (Funny how people who think that don't have a problem with the Interstate Highway system, which is about as socialist as you can get.) Finally, there is a mindset that if doesn't and cannot benefit me, my tax dollars should not be spent on it. "If I have a 90 min. drive to work. A bus ride simply wouldn't be practicable, so my tax dollars shouldn't fund busses, especially when those busses are really only needed by the poor."
I don't think the people who make money care if the automotive system of transportation is socialist or not. If it is, they probably just think that if you're going to have socialism, better make it bigger and more lucrative instead of less. Then you can pretend it's capitalism because in capitalism, people seek to get rich.

What amazes me is that so many people were able to ignore the resource waste and unsustainability of it. Even today with climate denial, it doesn't matter how clear it is to someone who's not afraid to admit it lest they lose out in some way economically, those who do fear economic loss are simply blocked from seeing how obvious it is. It's like their minds are paralyzed by economic fears and won't allow any thought that could lead to acknowledgment of negative consequences of the status quo that makes them money.
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Old 05-20-19, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Annual per capita transit trips in the U.S. plummeted from 115.8 in 1950 to 36.1 in 1970, where they have roughly remained since, even as population has grown."

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/w...=pocket-newtab
If it's a per capita figure, "even as population has grown" seems an odd qualifier.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
If it's a per capita figure, "even as population has grown" seems an odd qualifier.
Not really. If you expect that a growing population will use transit more to avoid congestion, you would expect per-capita transit use to grow with a growing population.

In sparse populations where everyone has a relatively large family farm, you would not expect as much transit because the number of people to pick up along a given route would waste vehicle capacity.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
It doesn’t have to be a big conspiracy it can just as easily be with a successful economy comes more private choices. There used to be hotels with shared bathrooms. People for some unknown reason wanted rooms with their own bathroom. At one time there were shared party lines for phones. Then everyone seemed to like having their own phone and number. Is it perceived today that public restrooms are only for the poor? If not why do people prefer their own restroom? If public phones are just as good and more sustainable than personal phones why are pay phones all but extinct? Cell phones are even replacing land lines in many homes.

I know now the beginning was long winded but it is to point out that at some point an economical successful society just seem to prefer their own things. A desire for assets and private property is stronger when it is “your” assets and private property. People, in my observations, seem to prefer their own timeframe to the public timeframe set by mass transit. People prefer a transit system that starts at their property line and ends at their destination. Mass transit has not offered a solution to that desire.

As as far as what the public is willing to pay for just who other than the tax payer should make that decision?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_City_Lines

And the National Highways Act helped doomed public transportation. Today we get to sit in congestion because Highways aren't properly maintained. Subsidized Highways and broke cities and suburbs. That's why we're the only society in the world that is built around cars. Cities were designed around people. The suburbs are designed around the car. Suburbs don't have the population density to support public transportation. So hence it's a choice to live in congestion.
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Old 05-21-19, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_City_Lines

And the National Highways Act helped doomed public transportation. Today we get to sit in congestion because Highways aren't properly maintained. Subsidized Highways and broke cities and suburbs. That's why we're the only society in the world that is built around cars. Cities were designed around people. The suburbs are designed around the car. Suburbs don't have the population density to support public transportation. So hence it's a choice to live in congestion.
Are other choices available to those who don’t want to drive? Are people not permitted to use those choices? Are cars mandated by the government? If people are free to vote with their wallet, even if who framed Rodger Rabbit movie were true people that wanted to could have changed how the travel.

Is there ever a reason people shouldn’t be free to live outside of the city core or in the suburbs? The answer in a Democratic Republic is no. We are stuck in traffic because how we have chosen to live.

If GM destroyed mass transit and promoted cars who has changed China? How many cars did they buy last year? Even countries with good mass transit have too much traffic? Maybe because there are too many people?
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Old 05-21-19, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
Are other choices available to those who don’t want to drive? Are people not permitted to use those choices? Are cars mandated by the government? If people are free to vote with their wallet, even if who framed Rodger Rabbit movie were true people that wanted to could have changed how the travel.

Is there ever a reason people shouldn’t be free to live outside of the city core or in the suburbs? The answer in a Democratic Republic is no. We are stuck in traffic because how we have chosen to live.

If GM destroyed mass transit and promoted cars who has changed China? How many cars did they buy last year? Even countries with good mass transit have too much traffic? Maybe because there are too many people?
In directly by policies the government did. Yes, China has world class public transportation and cars. People mainly live in cities. Bicycles, scooter, and motorcycle are alternatives.
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Old 05-21-19, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
In directly by policies the government did. Yes, China has world class public transportation and cars. People mainly live in cities. Bicycles, scooter, and motorcycle are alternatives.
And yet they have traffic problems? Ever wonder why?

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ales-in-china/

Does it look like mass transit keeps people from driving in China.

https://www.thatsmags.com/shanghai/p...-worst-traffic
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Old 05-21-19, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
And yet they have traffic problems? Ever wonder why?

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ales-in-china/

Does it look like mass transit keeps people from driving in China.

https://www.thatsmags.com/shanghai/p...-worst-traffic
The minority drive, but they have 1.4 billion people vs 320 million people. The scales are different.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_City_Lines

And the National Highways Act helped doomed public transportation. Today we get to sit in congestion because Highways aren't properly maintained. Subsidized Highways and broke cities and suburbs. That's why we're the only society in the world that is built around cars. Cities were designed around people. The suburbs are designed around the car. Suburbs don't have the population density to support public transportation. So hence it's a choice to live in congestion.
Not really. Congestion and jams occur, because of the lack of coordination, high reaction times, and low attention spans, and scofflaws.



You could keep adding lanes to any given road--and congestion won't decrease. Because as more lanes are added more people will take the main line route. It is something highway/road planners have come to terms with thanks to computer modeling
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Old 05-21-19, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
The minority drive, but they have 1.4 billion people vs 320 million people. The scales are different.
Something is driving people to spend their own money to buy a car when mass transit is so readily available? As their economy improves it is suggested that their automotive growth will be ten times what it is now.

It it has to be more than perception driving people into the show rooms? Give people a choice and they will vote with their bank accounts, in my opinion. As we have here. I don’t see it becoming less congested.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto...ustry_in_China
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Old 05-21-19, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
Are other choices available to those who don’t want to drive? Are people not permitted to use those choices?
How far does the nearest-available job have to be from where someone lives before you would say there is a de facto mandate to drive (as opposed to de jure)?

Five miles? 10 miles? 20 miles? 30, 40, 50, 100 miles?
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Old 05-21-19, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
How far does the nearest-available job have to be from where someone lives before you would say there is a de facto mandate to drive (as opposed to de jure)?

Five miles? 10 miles? 20 miles? 30, 40, 50, 100 miles?
IMO, the distance needs to be measured in time not miles. The article in the first post touches on this.

"In the biggest cities, the radius from downtown accessible within an hourgenerally considered the limit for daily commuting—by transit was fully developed by World War II. Cars dramatically extended that radius, and made it very hard for conventional transit to compete."

So, 1 hour on average by foot, bicycle, transit, or car. I don't know many that will walk or bike an hour one way to work, though.

Edit to add:

Back in my youth (20 y.o.), when my 400cc motorcycle wasn't running, I would walk to the nearest bus stop and take a bus to work. The walk and bus ride would take at least 90 minutes.

When my motorcycle was running, I could make the trip to work in 30 minutes.

The distance was only 13 miles. Clearly, I would have never taken that job if I had not owned motorized transportation.

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Old 05-21-19, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Because many people became convinced that public transit is for "poor people." And, or course, it's socialist. (Funny how people who think that don't have a problem with the Interstate Highway system, which is about as socialist as you can get.) Finally, there is a mindset that if doesn't and cannot benefit me, my tax dollars should not be spent on it. "If I have a 90 min. drive to work. A bus ride simply wouldn't be practicable, so my tax dollars shouldn't fund busses, especially when those busses are really only needed by the poor."
But then how would your maid get to your residence and back? 😕
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Old 05-21-19, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
IMO, the distance needs to be measured in time not miles. The article in the first post touches on this.

"In the biggest cities, the radius from downtown accessible within an hourgenerally considered the limit for daily commuting—by transit was fully developed by World War II. Cars dramatically extended that radius, and made it very hard for conventional transit to compete."

So, 1 hour on average by foot, bicycle, transit, or car. I don't know many that will walk or bike an hour one way to work, though.

Edit to add:

Back in my youth (20 y.o.), when my 400cc motorcycle would break down I would walk to the nearest bus stop and take a bus to work. The walk and bus ride would take at least 90 minutes.

When my motorcycle was running, I could make the trip to work in 30 minutes.

The distance was only 13 miles. Clearly, I would have never taken that job if I had not owned motorized transportation.
I have read studies on this and you have a valid point. In fact it was one of the selling points the advocates made trying to get HSR passed. It would allow people to live farther away from where they work.

The Suburbs are a natural growth by people looking for more affordable housing and the spread of cities out from a common core. If you can get to work in a hour by car it often seems worth it rather than waiting for mass transit. And it gives the people freedom of spontaneous movement that few other forms of transportation address.

Add to all else it makes working in different locations much easier.

https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2018...or-urban-areas
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Old 05-21-19, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_City_Lines

And the National Highways Act helped doomed public transportation. Today we get to sit in congestion because Highways aren't properly maintained. Subsidized Highways and broke cities and suburbs. That's why we're the only society in the world that is built around cars. Cities were designed around people. The suburbs are designed around the car. Suburbs don't have the population density to support public transportation. So hence it's a choice to live in congestion.
Nah, Australia is pretty bad for car centric too. I come from Perth, with the dubious distinction of having the most road per capita of anywhere in the world. Currently the greater urban sprawl is somethiing approaching 150km long and 30 km wide to the edges of the "outer suburbs" Not bad for 2 million people. Mind you, they are building train tracks, but it takes 20 years of arguing to get started.To get from my dads place to my sisters place would take maybe 4-5 hours by public transport.
We even have Melbourne Airport, second busiest in Australia, with no rail service. Somebody crashes on the freeway and you've got no hope of getting there on time.
Though the millenials have worked it out I guess, inner city living is climbing.
Makes it hard on the elderly too, once they can't drive they need to move away from their communities, unlike Europe or Japan where they stay until they drop.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
What amazes me is that so many people were able to ignore the resource waste and unsustainability of it. Even today with climate denial, it doesn't matter how clear it is to someone who's not afraid to admit it lest they lose out in some way economically, those who do fear economic loss are simply blocked from seeing how obvious it is. It's like their minds are paralyzed by economic fears and won't allow any thought that could lead to acknowledgment of negative consequences of the status quo that makes them money.
You're not wrong.

> Fink [BlackRock founder and CEO, an investment firm controlling $6.5tn in assets] argues it is not his company’s duty to fight the climate emergency. Fink said that his overriding duty is to make customers money, whatever the environmental consequences.

Responsibility begins with awareness, and they're now fully aware.

https://www.theguardian.com/business...ackrock-assets
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Old 05-21-19, 05:19 PM
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To add fuel to the discussion here are some stats on the subject. It is more if a people did turn their back rather than a why but it shows the attitude of many.





https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/ar...many-americans
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