Last year was public transit use in the U.S. was at its highest since 1956, spurred by higher gas prices. The New York Times reports that Americans took 10.7 billion rides last year, a 4% jump from the year prior and a 38% bump from 1995.
However, this year, the growth will probably slide because governments that subsidise public transportation are hard up for money. They’ll likely cut service and increase fares. New York is already planning on this.
Why isn’t stimulus cash going towards more buses and trains? It would certainly be a ‘green’ use of the money, which the administration is focused on. Part of the reason is that public transit orgs are notoriously inefficient and corrupt. Handing them bundles of cash is a risky proposition.
However, with local governments hoping to pry some of the government’s stimulus money for local programs, we’d hope that some train and bus services get protected.
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