Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Let's Use the RIGHT Arguments for Mass Transit

There are a great many reasons to support rail transportation, whether it’s Amtrak carrying passengers from one city to another or a transit system that moves people back and forth within one city.

Opposition to transit comes mostly from habitual nay-sayers (“It’s
a waste of money because nobody will ride it”) and from the selfish
(“I don’t want my taxes paying for something I won’t use”).

Done right, transit is faster and cheaper than automobiles. And it’s much better for the environment, using far less energy and putting out a fraction of the pollutants. These are indisputable facts.

But pro-transit enthusiasts insist on claiming – or at least allowing people to believe – that transit will eliminate traffic congestion on our streets and highways.

It will not. People will continue driving their personal cars until traffic becomes unbearable. Only then will significant numbers start using the transit system.

But consider: That means communities end up with a transit system and traffic moving at an acceptable level. Isn’t that a win-win for everyone?

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