Fri Jun 22, 2012, 08:53 AM
marmar (63,450 posts)
Austerity-crazed Republicans aim to run mass transit into the ground
Public transportation: 'Don't like the cuts? Take a hike'
The old consensus that mass transit drives the economy is gone: austerity-crazed Republicans aim to run it into the ground
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 21 June 2012
Americans have since the second world war built an entire way of life around the automobile. It turns out, however, that our faith was an unsteady one and, in the face of high gas prices and young people's increasing preference for urban living, we are heading back to subways, trains, buses and trolleys in droves. In the first quarter of this year, we took an additional 125.7m trips on mass transit compared with the same time period last year – an increase of 5%.
Yet, Republican-led austerity is pushing public transit, like most everything public, into severe fiscal and physical crisis. All at the very moment when we want and need it the most. Nationwide, 80% of mass transit systems either did move to boost fares and cut services or considered doing so in 2010, according to the most recent report from the American Public Transportation Association.
Fare hikes and service cuts may be coming to Philadelphia, home to the nation's sixth largest transit system – and the subject of a report I wrote for Thursday's City Paper. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) projects a $36m deficit beginning in July 2013 and already lacks the funds necessary to fix crumbling, century-old bridges and electrical equipment.
Pittsburgh, which is set to cut about half of its bus lines, is a case in point. DialAmerica delayed plans to open a new 150-person call center in the city because the company, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, says they are concerned that employees wouldn't be able to get to work.
Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett, who signed Grover Norquist's tax pledge during his 2010 campaign, has refused calls from labor and business leaders to raise revenue to deal with the state's infrastructure needs – estimated by his own transportation commission to be $3.5bn in necessary work. When I asked what the governor planned to do about the crisis in Philadelphia, I was told that we were on our own. ....................(more)
The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/21/public-transportation-cuts-hike
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." -- Nelson Mandela
3 replies, 776 views
Austerity-crazed Republicans aim to run mass transit into the ground (Original post)
|Lydia Leftcoast||Jun 2012||#1|
|Lydia Leftcoast||Jun 2012||#3|
Response to marmar (Original post)
Fri Jun 22, 2012, 08:32 PM
Lydia Leftcoast (47,138 posts)
1. All those anti-transit Republicans deserve to end up as old people
too frail to drive and therefore trapped in their houses in their exurban gated communities.
Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #1)
Sat Jun 23, 2012, 02:45 AM
nxylas (4,917 posts)
2. Won't happen, though
They can all afford chauffeurs.
The capitalist is always trying to cut down what his servant demands and in doing so is cutting down what his customer can spend. He is wanting the same man to be rich and poor at the same time - GK Chesterton
Response to nxylas (Reply #2)
Sat Jun 23, 2012, 10:23 AM
Lydia Leftcoast (47,138 posts)
3. Not the people who write anti-transit letters to the Minneapolis paper and
live in the ticky-tack "white flight" suburbs. They'll be even more trapped than the folks in the gated communities. (And reading between the lines, you get a sense that their REAL objection to transit is that people of color ride it and could use it to ride out to their communities.)