How Non-Communists Fund Transit

One of the depressing, self fulfilling myths out there is that mass transit can never be a profitable enterprise and must always be massively subsidized. I did a post a while ago on transit in Hong Kong, a place where a private company runs one of the world’s most efficient and widely used systems while making a bundle of cash at the same time as a major property developer. In fact, the NY system began along the same lines and operated fairly well in it’s infancy until it came up against its communist competitor in the form of Robert Moses and the federal highway system. Before this time, rational links existed between transit modes and development since there was less “free” money out there for projects that could not fund themselves. People built lines where there would be high density development to support the lines–period. The government thought that this was somehow unfair and we are now living with the results.

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