Is Mass Transit In America Dying?


Americans drove nearly 96 percent as many miles in May 2021 as in the same month in 2019, indicating a return to normalcy. Transit ridership, however, was only 42 percent of pre‐​pandemic levels, which is making transit agencies desperate to justify their future existence and the subsidies they depend on to keep running.

The pandemic accelerated several trends that were already happening and that had contributed to declines in transit ridership in every year since 2014. First, even after getting vaccinated, more people are working at home at least two or three days a week. Second, those who commute to work are finding less congested roads, so driving is more attractive than it once was. Third, people are increasingly moving to areas where transit doesn’t work very well: Redfin data show that home prices in “car‐​dependent” (I prefer “auto liberated”) areas are growing twice as fast and homes are selling in half the time as in transit‐​accessible areas.

Transit agencies are responding to this by reducing fares. But transit is already so heavily subsidized — getting 78 percent of its funds from taxpayers in 2019 — that a small increase in subsidies is not enough to counter the trends against transit. People who have discovered the benefits of working at home two or three days a week are not suddenly going to go back to the office five days a week because transit fares are a little lower. MORE

32 Comments on Is Mass Transit In America Dying?

  1. Working from home, home-schooling, bitchy Trannys disguised as “Hostess'”, bus attacks, subway murders, parking garage kidnappings, etc, etc…
    No I’m sure mass transit is juuuust fine!

  2. My idea of travel is to drive. So what if it takes me a week or so to get there across the country. I’ve got plenty of time, I’m retired. No one touching me, feeling me up, looking through my personal property. It isn’t worth it to me to pay money to jump through those hoops.

  3. I only ride the bus if I absolutely have to and then I’m always glad when my car is fixed and I don’t have to ride the damn bus. And they can shove their federal mask mandates which will probably continue forever up their smug asses. The bus is absolutely totally inconvenient to me because of where I work and the late hours I work on occasion.

  4. Only when people get paid to not go to work.

    The Yuge rise in crime is also helping to kill it.

  5. In Chicago, a ride on public transit includes a willingness to be robbed, beaten, raped or killed. Other than that, its a good way to get around.

  6. “Is Mass Transit In America Dying?”

    …yes, and it has been since the automobile was invented.

    Mass transit made sense once, but that was long ago. You can still see the steam engines and streetcars of that era in museums where they belong.

    It is only kept alive in its inevitably unprofitable current configurations by Communist politicians for Communist reasons.

    …see, the MODERN mass transit concept, like EVERYTHING Communists do, is about control. They want to be able to control WHERE you can go, WHEN you can go there, WHO can go there, and even HOW they can go there (no guns, no Trump T-shirts, etc.), and also be able to propagandize during your trip by controlling the ads and the video screens you can’t escape while you’re aboard.

    They also serve as useful tools to spread the disease of Communism from the cities. When they break up the crime, want, and baby-making incubators that the Projects in the cities are so they can tear them down and make condos for neckbeards, they use Section 8 to spread social pathology to anywhere the bus goes, and then expand the bus routes. They then do all the same things in the new place they did in the old place, those who can move out when they get frustrated with the crime and noise and increasing ineffectiveness of neutered police departments, and so the inner city cancer metastasizes into the second and third ring suburbs, eventually destroying the entire County by changing its political makeup, and now it’s a Democrat stronghold with all it entails.

    I saw that in my own patch over the 50+ years I lived there, and it wasn’t pretty. I stuck it out until it just wasn’t tenable any more, and had to leave the County I lived in for 5 decades and served directly for 10 years because the Democrats used mass transit to consume it ALL.

    Mass transit is also a great system to get graft, employ family members, let “no bid” fat contracts to preferred minority contractors ONLY, even create a permanent bureaucratic office for so you have a high paying, do nothing job your cronies can slide you into should you actually get unelected for the crap you pulled getting the boondoggle installed in the first place.

    These never…NEVER…make money. That isn’t the point.

    The point is control, graft, corruption, Virtue signaling, and poisoning ever-larger areas so you can rule THEM as well.

    And they do THAT like a treat.

    …which is why they will be with us forever. Like the hate they foster and the want they create and the fear they spread, it’s another tool in the Commie toolbox.

    …And you’ve got to give the devil his due, once you understand that destruction is what they’re TRYING to do, that they wield those tools very well indeed…

  7. If they do away with mass transit how will Obama’s sons get from the ghetto to target rich environments in the burbs?

  8. Heavily subsidized fares? You can jump a turnstile in NYC or other liberal sh*t-hole city and never worry.

  9. It’s heavily subsidized but they still charge during holidays.
    In Vegas, they give free rides for a few hours on New Years Eve, big deal.

    Since we pay for it anyway, ALL holiday mass transit should be free to somewhat help keep drunks off the road.

    Government sucks so I can’t expect them to EVER do the right fucking thing.

  10. I started riding a motorcycle to work a few years ago. I’d rather die on a bike then take NYC public transit . Over the years they’ve become rolling homeless shelters.

  11. Mass transit is just another sink hole for the dems. You can’t have a socialist society if people can get in their privately owned car and drive to their privately owned home.

    Dianne Feinstein’s husband wins near-billion dollar California ‘high speed rail’ contract

    The NeverEnding Project: CA High-Speed Rail and the Boondoggle that Couldn’t

  12. Cmn¢¢guy
    JULY 17, 2021 AT 12:35 PM

    “The NeverEnding Project: CA High-Speed Rail and the Boondoggle that Couldn’t”

    …the Little Engine that Could reference just reminded me of something it bothers me that the book left out.

    The book ends with the Little Engine, having exerted MAXIMUM effort, having topped the hill that leads down to the village the load was destined for, and that’s it.

    Here’s the thing; it takes as much effort to STOP as it does to START. More, even, depending on your speed and momentum. Also, the larger engines have MORE wheels, hence better traction simply from more contact points.

    So did the Little Engine seal their fate? Did they go from UP the hill with “”I THINK I can, I THINK I can” to DOWN the hill with “Oh SHIT no brakes, oh SHIT no brakes”? Did the Engine flatten its steel wheels trying to stop or even reverse, only to jump the tracks and plow into the station filled with happy children expecting their milk and toys, turning it into a blood-soaked abbatoir filled with the severed limbs of children and dolls intermingled with the shattered milk bottles, the air filled with the screams of the maimed and the silence of the dead until the Little Engine’s boiler explodes, bringing jagged shrapnel and flaming death to the unfortunate survivors? Did the mourning town, shorn of its children and now bereft of its ONLY apparent lifeline simply bury their dead and give up, leaving their hopes and dreams to rot under the snapped and burnt wood of the station and the rusting remains of the flattened passenger compartments, some still containing a soundless but dreadful grue of bodily fluids?

    …the book stopped too soon, so we will never know, almost like someone was suppressing the information of the result of this failed public transportation service from us for political reasons or something, and only revealing the earlier bright and smiling faces that they WANT the narrative to be…

  13. ^^ “Dances With Wolves” ended too soon also.
    The tribe was wiped out just after the end credits rolled.

  14. I PRAY that it does in Pittsburgh!

    Most dangerous damn thing on the road every day, are the freakin’ PAT buses; MOST of which are EMPTY, MOST of the time! 🙄

  15. Used our local bus service once about three years ago while my truck was being serviced. Wanted to go to Home Depot which is approx 5 miles from my home. With all the stops and tranfers it was a 3 hour round trip ride. Could have rode my bicycle at a leisurely pace and been there and back in an hour and a half easy.

  16. Me an Earl were haulin chickens on the flatbed out of Wiggins. “Wolf Creek Pass” don’t remember who sang it.

  17. Cmn¢¢guy JULY 17, 2021 AT 1:53 PM
    30,000 pounds of Bananas – Harry Chapin’

    …OK, THAT’s pretty good! Thank you for that!

    The only song I knew from him was “The Cat’s In The Cradle”, and that probably isn’t even the real title!

    I liked the way he sped up the song as the truck sped up, too.

    But the only tradgedy I’ve personally seen from banannas is that we used to have to do Squad runs to a now-defunct hypermarket in a ginormous mall every time they got boxes of bannanas shipped in, because for some reason, the boxes of bannnanas regularly contained a tarantula or two, but because of the high turnover you’d expect among bannana unboxers, this always seemed to be a surprise to them. Tarantulas are big and scary but pretty harmless and certainly not poisionous, but given that people have crashed cars over a wayward Daddly Longlegs spider before, it’s not surprising that folks got pretty scared when they unknowningly aggrivated a resting ball of hair and legs so it bit them and then presented itself aggressively, which would be nightmare fuel for anyone. This generally didn’t have any real health concerns unless they passed out or hit their heads (or co-workers) running away, but on the off chance they were allergic and sometimes just to get them to calm down, we’d go ahead and bus them to the hospital, which wasn’t very far away at all, then figure we’d have to go back for someone else later.

    Not as bad as the days when they handed out the new box cutters (the old school ones that were just a razor blade in a metal sleeve), but that’s a different story for another day…

  18. I haven’t heard 30,000 pounds of bananas by Harry Chapin since back in the 70’s. It’s also a highly ironic song since Harry Chapin was killed when he crashed his car into a fully loaded gasoline truck in NYC back in the 70’s and was blown to smithereens in the huge explosion that ensued from that crash.

  19. It’s funny when I look at how to get somewhere on Google Maps. It is not unusual for public transportation to take 2 to 3 times as long as driving myself.

    In one house I lived in in Seattle a bus went by during commute times to go downtown. However, it went only one way and took a circuitous rote and took 45 minutes. There was a bus that stopped a half mile away that ran much more often and was much quicker, but I would have to drive to take that one. It was up a fairly steep hill and the walk probably would have taken 20 minutes.

  20. This is a total blast from the past, Henry by The New Riders Of The Purple Sage, one of my favorite New Riders songs from the early 70’s about Henry and his trip to Mexico to score some weed. And he’s going down the mountain fast, fast, fast and if he misses the corner it’ll be his last… It was a great folk/rock song which I still like. Also you might be able to throw in Hot Rod Lincoln with the original by Johnny Bond or the more loud rocking rockabilly classic by Commander Cody.

  21. Mass Transit – so called because it’s for the unwashed masses — is the best fraud, waste and abuse racket the Democrats run in all the major cities. First they dole out millions and millions to their friends who once were city/county/state plebes who saw they could make more money on the outside securing lucrative contracts for planning and “studies”. Those go on for so many years that whatever they were first studying and planning is obsolete and at least three time spendier than the original budget (and what the people voted for in taxes). Then they get a budget waiver from their Democrat state houses and make immediate payments to all their friend contractors (oh, and they share all the bid info with their favorites — the ones who donate the most campaign dollars). If there’s any money left over they start building platforms and change the roadways. This goes on for at least 57 years until everyone driving cars has figured out when to avoid the construction mess and where to find the back streets, etc. to avoid driving through the construction mess. Then there’s no more money and a big story about fraud, waste and abuse. More money is used by city/county/state attorneys and investigations. Then people are identified but no one is ever charged. The ones who did the dirty get promoted or run for mayor or governor. The end.


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