Monday, November 17, 2008

U.S. transit didn't just die, it was murdered

But GM lost $65 million in 1921. So Sloan enlisted Standard Oil (now Exxon), Philips Petroleum, glass and rubber companies and an army of financiers and politicians to kill mass transit.

...But with a varied arsenal of political and financial subterfuges, GM helped gut the core of America's train and trolley systems. It was the murder of our rail systems that made our "love affair" with the car a tragedy of necessity. commondreams

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to give the US Government and City Governments around the credit for their due in destroying the transit systems.

Between mandating prices at the fare box, to breaking up the utilities that operated (and often subsidized) the prices of transit they cut the lifeline that provided the services.

In addition to that somehow the Government managed to just ignore the actions that you point out that GM and others made. Even though those are much less up for debate except for the conspiracy theories.

In addition the Government (and especially the FRA today) mandated and continue to mandate all sorts of rules and regulations that make transit completely unfeasible as a competitive, environmentally friendly, efficient provider of transport - especially if we citizens actually wanted to run or operate a system again.

One might want to run down the rabit hole of "blame GM", but don't forget the Government built the rabit hole in the first place... and sadly enough, they're the ones in charge of the transit now, not us, the users of the systems.