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Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.
by Jonathan English
Posted January 6, 2020

Toronto Transit Commission, model for US cities?The widespread failure of American mass transit is usually blamed on cheap gas and suburban sprawl. But the full story of why other countries succeed is more complicated.

When it comes to the quality of public transit, comparisons between American cities and international counterparts are usually met with a simple response: “It’s different over there.”

How did transit become such an afterthought in Americans’ transportation habits? Transit everywhere suffered serious declines in the postwar years, the cost of cars dropped and new expressways linked cities and fast-growing suburbs. That article pointed to a key problem: The limited transit service available in most American cities means that demand will never materialize—not without some fundamental changes. More…