Transit is an essential part of a Strong Towns approach. So is financial solvency. It’s time for public transit advocacy to move past the build-it-and-they-will-come mindset.
Often lost in debates about whether or not to “subsidize” transit: the total cost of a system in which everyone drives is much higher than the total cost of a system in which other forms of transportation are attractive alternatives.
With plummeting ridership, cuts in services, and higher fares, U.S. transit may be in mortal danger. But the seeds of the current crisis were planted long before the pandemic.
Don’t ask if we can still afford public transit in American cities. Ask if we can still afford the alternative: car-dependent development, and universal car usage as a minimum ante to participate in society.
The most exciting advances in public transit in North America are coming from some unexpected places, where they’re figuring out how to achieve more with less. Indianapolis might be the newest to join that club.
Where did we spend our money building transit in the U.S. in the last 10 years? And what did we get for it?
Great places need a train less than a train needs a great place.
Transit is not a prerequisite for making a decent people-oriented neighborhood.
When we obsess over the speed of travel—whether in our cars or on public transit—we’re missing the point of transportation. It’s not about how far you can get in a given time: it’s what you can get to.