Thursday, May 30, 2024

Learn Why The United States Gave Up On Public Transit

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Public transit in the United States was once the envy of the world. Now, Americans wait an average of 17 minutes to get on public transit and 45% have no access to public transit at all. While the recent pandemic negatively impacted public transit, there are other factors that have been weakening this critical infrastructure for decades.

Going back to the turn of the last century, the United States had a robust public transit system that was built with streetcars. But by the end of World War I, a third of transit companies were already in bankruptcy. The American passion for automobiles quickly changed the policies and landscape of transportation in the United States. That passion for personally owned transportation meant that the federal government did not invest in public transit for nearly half a century.

The federal government of the United States began investing in public transit in 1964 with the creation of the Federal Transit Authority. The Department of Transportation began operations soon after in 1967. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) partners with state and local governments to establish and enhance public transit across the nation. The FTA now invests more than $20 billion annually to support and expand public rail, bus, trolley, ferry, and other transit services.

Visit the official Federal Transit Administration website.

Visit the official CNBC website.

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