Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Social Contract for Public Transit

I have a piece in the Atlantic's City Lab arguing that public transit is not meeting its social contract. As I conclude:
So does public transit serve its social obligations? Increasingly the answer is no. The way transit is financed in the United States distorts investment and operating priorities away from those who rely on transit service the most. Transit agencies are also asked to provide a social safety net — offeringreduced transit fares for school kids, senior discounts, or lifeline services to underserved areas that few politicians are willing to pay for. A more relevant question is why public transit agencies are solely responsible for managing disparate social goals. It need not be this way.

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