Friday, August 8, 2008

Autosprawl was forced on U.S.

GM Bought and Dismantled Streetcar Lines Nationwide

GM began by funding a company called National City Lines (NCL), which by 1946 controlled streetcar operations in 80 American cities.

“Despite public opinion polls that showed 88 percent of the public favoring expansion of the rail lines after World War II, NCL systematically closed its streetcars down until, by 1955, only a few remained,” .... -- Larry West, About.com

photo from Hennepin County Library - Minnesota

1 comment:

Logan said...

It's odd.. it's not like the fact that GM criminally uprooted streetcar companies across the country is a secret anymore, but hardly anyone knows about it.

I only found out during a conversation with my Classics professor last year.

Apparently Minneapolis's streetcars had quite the spectacular fall, filled with auto-maker double-agents and investor greed. It all culminated in this rather emblematic newspaper photo:
http://www.mplib.org/history/images/m3857.jpg