Friday, February 1, 2008
Mass Transportation Idea. # 1
Most cities in the United States were built around the car, and in many places public transport is now almost non-existent, even in large cities, with only a few cities where public transport is in good condition, like New York City. Many public transport systems that existed prior to domination of the car were dismantled by the emergent car industry in a move came to be known as the Great American Streetcar Scandal; nevertheless, GM managed to "rip out" over 100 streetcar systems nationwide by 1950. By the time antitrust investigators could go to work, the deed was done. American mass-transit was "dead". In the 2000s, many US cities realized that widespread car usage caused serious problems, such as urban sprawl. In response to this, cities have begun to make their city centres more enticing, have canceled expressways projects and restored or improved public transport and commissioned new rail transit projects. Public transportation ridership in the US has risen 21% since 1995 – more than the same period's increase in roadway vehicle miles or airline passenger miles  and several U.S. states that were considered bastions of highway-only thinking, such as Colorado and Utah (see Utah Transit Authority), had approved major public transportation investments by 2005.
For Inter-city transport within the United States the car and the airplane dominate except in the Northeast Corridor, a densely populated string of cities, which has the busiest train line in the USA, including the popular Acela Express train service operated by Amtrak. Elsewhere trains and buses (such as the Greyhound) are often only used by those with no other alternative.
Detractors point out that in investment in public transport in the USA has had almost no impact on the number of drivers.