I took a college course on the history of cars in film, and the shit I learned about freeways blew my mind. They purposely got rid of a trolley system and replaced them with city busses that were bad ON PURPOSE. They wanted 2 cars at every home, so they really made a point to sabotage the public transportation system. Make it so people hated busses.

Freeways also destroyed homes, and caused a lot of pollution. I watched a video about how children were getting sick from the sudden pollution.

This makes me especially furious when bus transport is such an incredible tool for public transport–when done right. unlike trolleys and trains, which require laying tracks (and sometimes massive tunneling projects), installing a bus system simply requires the individual vehicles and bus stops (signs and benches, in the most simple form). that makes it cost effective for small cities and towns that can’t or won’t invest in the overhead for larger projects. also bus routes can be easily adjusted--unlike, say, a trolley that goes down the same set of tracks every time. Buses have huge potential! Unfortunately, all these benefits also make them easier for politicians and lobbyists to quietly sabatoge.

Even so, in some places we do have good bus-based transportation systems–such as in university towns that have a vested interest in providing public transport to campuses that are already very tight on parking space. Some cities and towns also do a decent job with their bus systems–but that is highly dependant on local politics, and there is always a risk of wealthy interest groups getting involved and fucking with things. Ironically, some of the best proof we have that buses are a good mass transport option come from private bus systems set up by companies like Apple and Tesla which use buses to transport thousands of their own employees, who would otherwise be stuck in a broken system of enormous commute times–where everyone else is stuck.

Anyway. Everything the original post says is correct–public transport had been criminally sabatoged in the U.S. And it is costing people jobs, livelihoods, and access to basic necessities like hospitals and grocery stores. It’s not glamorous, but it is an enormous quality-of-life and class issue, and I’m relieved to see more people talking about it.

Invest in public transport, in public housing, in libraries, in education. Invest in public services. These are the heart and soul of a functioning society, and they pay for themselves a thousand times over.