Friday, June 06, 2008

Pundit for Public Transport

Robert Reich has produced a very interesting commentary on his blog about the need for greater investment in public transportation. In the light of rising fuel costs, riding buses, trains, and subways is making increasing sense to a large number of people. However, Reich warns that we may need to increase public funding to meet this demand.

Maybe, maybe not. Certain things I’ve observed in Philadelphia indicate that public transport may not have the funding issues Reich warns of. Recently while riding on the 5 bus along Frankford Ave. on a weekday afternoon, I found the bus to be filled almost to capacity, a highly unusual circumstance. News reports have also indicated an increase in SEPTA ridership, so much so that SEPTA is considering expanding service, with or without an increase in state funding.

That said, I am in no way opposed to government funding for public transport. When I was in Great Britain, I found the London Underground to be an excellent means of transport. It was very efficient, and offered access to most areas of the city I wanted to visit. I think London offers a model most American cities, including Philadelphia, could learn from.

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