Against the Streetcar

Street carsStreetcars are a bad idea. They embody the worst of the two classic kinds of public transit. They aren’t flexible like buses, which can move between routes and have their routes altered with relatively little cost. They don’t avoid traffic like trains do because they use the streets. To make matters worse, street cars that don’t have dedicated lanes cannot change lanes if there’s something obstructing their path. In this case, streetcars move slower and cost more than busses, without delivering any benefit.

Yet cities are constructing or planning to build streetcars in Detroit, Grand RapidsMilwaukee, and Cincinnati, and
this list is limited to cities in the Midwest. It’s my firm hope that the notion of a streetcar never becomes popular in Chicago. Public transit funds are precious and we need to use them as best we can to make a system that serves the people the best. Bad transit can kill economic opportunity especially for the poor. Read more

Public Transit and the Inevitable Fair Hike

How much should public transportation cost?  How long will it cost $2.25?  After looking at what the CTA has said about why rates go up North and Clark draws its own conclusions.