A Case for Public Transportation

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As I spent the last week zooming from one side of London to the other with through “The Tube”, London’s subway system, a recurring thought stuck with me: “Thank God for public transportation.” 

Recently, Nashville voters shocked America when they voted in a landslide against a bill that would vastly improve the city’s public transportation system, adding 26 miles of light rail, multiple new bus lines, and 19 new transit stations. In a large way, this was due to the efforts of a political advocacy group called Americans for Prosperity, committed towards preventing the spread of public transportation in the United States. It is spearheaded by the oil tycoons David and Charles Koch, who argue that public transportation is becoming needless in the age of driverless fully electric cars. However, since plug-in electric vehicles only took up .9% of the American automobile market in 2017,  it seems as though the Koch Brothers may be acting more in the interests of their gargantuan oil company. 

To me, public transportation is perhaps one of the defining characteristics of a major city. Tokyo’s, New York’s, and London’s smoothly operating transportation systems are in part what contributes to their status as some of the most visited cities in the world. Without the systems that make different sides of the city easily accessible, cities (especially larger cities) begin to fail to realize the full scale of their resources and citizens. 

 

2 thoughts on “A Case for Public Transportation”

  1. I completely agree with you on the convenience of public transportation!
    It’s not just the speed and safety, but to me : how much can be done, read, watched while on the train, instead of spending years, if you calculated the time a person spends in traffic in a car, that pollutes the environment .

    But, just in case you haven’t read about it, here is an article that detailes the many reasons why the US doesn’t have the public transportation that looks to us so convenient. That debate has been going on for many years.
    The second article is about the efforts Boston is making to ease up the enormous traffic congestion. This debate is going on right now.

    It was very interesting to read your opinion,
    Thank you!

    https://www.vox.com/2015/8/10/9118199/public-transportation-subway-buses
    https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2018/06/18/rail-link-tunnel-will-cost-at-least-12b-state.html

  2. I have been a big fan of public transportation for years! So many benefits: convenience, fuel efficiency, safety, savings. In addition, public transportation to me is mostly about being part of the human theater. When I used to live in the Ukraine or when I visit major European cities, I am infinitely inspired by the scenes on a bus or subway. I heard many stories of people meeting their future spouses, business partners, friends after striking a great conversation on a long bus ride. My work in Boston used locked me inside my car for hours each day on my way between home and work. Once I almost missed the evening when your father proposed to me because I was stuck in traffic, squeezed inside a long line of cars stretching over the bridge south of Boston. That would not happen if I was on a subway delivering me safely and fuel-efficiently to my destiny on time.

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