Monday, December 6, 2010

Forum: Why starve public transit?

Forum: Why starve public transit?: "If people can't get where they are going by transit, they drive. This adds to congestion, and makes it more likely that somebody becomes the slowpoke in front of you, the someone who cuts in front of you on the parkway, the someone who takes that last parking space, the someone who just makes it through the green light so you didn't, and the someone one car ahead of you at the gas pump.

It is not very obvious, but it has been getting worse for years. Since 1980, the county's population has fallen almost 12 percent, but the population of cars has increased significantly. At the same time, transit ridership plummeted 32 percent.

Other things are less obvious, but still have an effect. Greater demand for gasoline drives up prices. More driving means more pollution, bad enough on its own, but which also triggers Ozone Action Alerts in the summer, enough of which in any one year triggers additional pollution control measures, thus driving up the cost of doing business.

Thus, we sit in traffic more, and have longer commutes. Inadequate transit costs us plenty -- in time, in money, in frustration, in pollution, in more wear and tear on our cars, and in having more cars to finance, insure and maintain."


  1. Thank you for posting this, which appeared in the April 4, 2004, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (see link above). I am its author.

    My blog, at, frequently addresses problems with transit funding. At this writing, my "3,600-word rant on transit funding", from Sept. 3, 2010, is still the top entry. Parts of it have been excerpted elsewhere, which is fine with me.

    Follow me on Twitter at @bus15237

  2. Thank you for fighting for public transit for 20 years. Please keep it up. Pittsburgh please follow:
    bus15237 blog
    bus15237 twitter