Author Topic: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)  (Read 1762 times)

Charles Hunter

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Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« on: November 12, 2020, 04:47:17 PM »
An aggretor is use (Pocket) gave me this from CityLab, an interesting and very informative article about why there is so little "good" transit in the USA.
https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-did-america-give-up-on-mass-transit-don-t-blame-cars

BridgeTroll

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2020, 05:13:21 PM »
Absolute Heresy here... It was big auto/oil sabotaging mass transit.  This article is being reviewed for deletion...  ;) ;D
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

marcuscnelson

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2020, 08:02:48 PM »
Interesting article, but I feel like it doesn't really say enough about the sheer influence by racism, classism & white flight, or the business interests behind road building and lobbying in opposition to transit, or even just developers who were (and still are) opposed to transit.

To this day, people are still actively opposing transit projects based on the idea that poor people of color will bring crime to certain neighborhoods. I just made a thread on this site a few days ago about it. Meanwhile projects here in Florida like SR-9B and the First Coast Expressway and M-CORES are heavily lobbied for by development companies and road-builders. Robert Moses existed, and all the roads he designed in New York with low overpasses and no serious transit alternatives still exist.

The article says

Quote
Across the U.S., there are still projects to widen urban highways and bury existing ones. But the time of plowing new expressways through city neighborhoods is by and large over.

But this doesn't mean building new expressways has stopped. Just that instead of plowing through existing cities, they're being used as tools for massive new autocentric suburban sprawl.

The article also doesn't really say as much as it could about the discrepancy in the way we treat private infrastructure vs transit infrastructure. It mentions federal funding and the creation of the Interstate system, but it doesn't make the point as seriously as it could of just how stacked the deck is in favor of private cars. Enormous amounts of taxpayer money go to highways that have never and will never pay for themselves, and yet the first question for something that isn't a highway is "why isn't this self-sustaining?"

It is about more than just GM or oil companies (although it does bring up the Koch brothers & other lobbyists), but that doesn't mean that all of this was transit's fault for not manifesting money out of thin air to upgrade service to compete. Saying state & local governments can fund transit doesn't mean they want to. It doesn't mean that cities and states are not also being lobbied.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

Adam White

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2020, 01:48:10 PM »
Whether or not this is apropos of anything, I do find it interesting that mass transit - and some particular forms of mass transit (like buses) - have a bit of a stigma attached to them, particularly in smaller cities. Basically, you only ride the bus if you're too poor to afford a car. I think car ownership is something Americans really value and something that is part of the American ideal and self-image.

I used to ride the bus in Jax quite a bit - because my car got repossessed!
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bl8jaxnative

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2020, 10:57:53 AM »

America no more "gave up" on Mass Transit than it "gave up" typewriters, pocket watches, faxes, the Walkman, newspapers, floppy disks, pagers, 8-tracks, Laser Discs, AOL, horse-n-buggy, Polaroid, the telegraph, pay phones, Kodak,  car lighters, the Yellowpages, Cathode Ray Tubes ( CRTs ), et al.

Adam White

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2020, 11:18:29 AM »

America no more "gave up" on Mass Transit than it "gave up" typewriters, pocket watches, faxes, the Walkman, newspapers, floppy disks, pagers, 8-tracks, Laser Discs, AOL, horse-n-buggy, Polaroid, the telegraph, pay phones, Kodak,  car lighters, the Yellowpages, Cathode Ray Tubes ( CRTs ), et al.

Are you *honestly* contending that mass transit is obsolete?

“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2020, 08:07:42 PM »

America no more "gave up" on Mass Transit than it "gave up" typewriters, pocket watches, faxes, the Walkman, newspapers, floppy disks, pagers, 8-tracks, Laser Discs, AOL, horse-n-buggy, Polaroid, the telegraph, pay phones, Kodak,  car lighters, the Yellowpages, Cathode Ray Tubes ( CRTs ), et al.

Having seen billions in TOD developments and mass transit so used (pre-COVID) it can't keep up in other cities, I am not sure how you reach this conclusion.  I would suggest that Jacksonville leaders are part of those "gave up" days - not mass transit.  The solution is to get "updated" leadership.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 08:14:26 PM by jaxlongtimer »

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2020, 11:51:17 AM »
98% of people living in those TODs do not use transit.   They're built cuz they're a rare place in a city where a developer looking to drop in a 300 unit podium can relatively easily.


Regardless of that, that does nothing to speak to the differences in the technologies.     

The diference between using mass transit and using a car is the difference between using a bathroom in your house and using a public bath.

Adam White

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2020, 12:21:05 PM »
The diference between using mass transit and using a car is the difference between using a bathroom in your house and using a public bath.

But all the home bathrooms in the world won't make a difference if you have to take a shit at the mall.

No one is going to claim public restrooms are obsolete just because you prefer dropping a deuce in the privacy of your own home.
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

Steve

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2020, 12:22:56 PM »
98% of people living in those TODs do not use transit.   They're built cuz they're a rare place in a city where a developer looking to drop in a 300 unit podium can relatively easily.


Regardless of that, that does nothing to speak to the differences in the technologies.     

The diference between using mass transit and using a car is the difference between using a bathroom in your house and using a public bath.

What city are you referring to?

For example, if you build a giant apartment complex next to a LIRR (Long Island) or Metro-North (Westchester and Western Connecticut), probably 75% of the residents would use it on a daily basis to go to work in NYC. Now, getting groceries? They will likely get of the train at the end of the work day, get in their cars and drive to the grocery store.

Point - throwing out a stat without context/region isn't useful.

Steve

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2020, 12:23:55 PM »
No one is going to claim public restrooms are obsolete just because you prefer dropping a deuce in the privacy of your own home.

#SentencesINeverThoughtIdRead

Adam White

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2020, 01:07:02 PM »
No one is going to claim public restrooms are obsolete just because you prefer dropping a deuce in the privacy of your own home.

#SentencesINeverThoughtIdRead

“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

BridgeTroll

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2020, 07:57:32 PM »
98% of people living in those TODs do not use transit.

Interesting statistic...  I  assume you can back this up with a graph, or actual statistical analysis... or something...
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

itsfantastic1

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2020, 10:16:40 PM »
98% of people living in those TODs do not use transit.

Interesting statistic...  I  assume you can back this up with a graph, or actual statistical analysis... or something...

https://youtu.be/cQXZ91HD1hA

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2020, 11:11:46 AM »
98% of people living in those TODs do not use transit.

Interesting statistic...  I  assume you can back this up with a graph, or actual statistical analysis... or something...

In the 10 years previous to their 2018 Lynx expansion,  Charlotte added ~15K people + a few million square feet of retail/commercial in TODS on it's Lynx LRT line.

In those 10 years LYNX's annual ridership went from 5 million too....... 5 million.  OI!


When you've added on that corridor at the TODS ~20K to ~25K ( residential + commercial ) people and there is  __ZERO__ increase in ridership it means  ----> THEY AIN'T USING THE CHOO-CHOO train.