Benefits and Magnitude of Mass Transit’s Impact

This post about transit leads in to tomorrow’s weekly discussion on the same topic. Transit is rarely featured in the news in terms of its ability to aid a very stressed economy. Absent the sensationalism of sex scandals and intrigue, you don’t find it presented that much in your evening local news or on the talking head shows that come on the television on Sunday mornings. That’s unfortunate because mass transit is proven again and again to be a worthy weapon in combating a host of projectiles. Air pollution and dependency on oil costs billions of dollars a day in wars and healthcare. Increased costs in infrastructure maintenance straps states and municipalities leading to neglect or at worst the failure of a bridge. Mass transit is one solution for primary as well as secondary economic liabilities. Below are a couple of infographics (one from Transportation Issues Daily and the other from Dialogue 4 Health) that give an overview of what transit has to contribute to solving an economic crisis from many different angles.

Infographics: Public Transportation

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  1. allthingsgeography1

     /  November 29, 2012

    Reblogged this on All Things Geography and commented:
    Being originally from Seattle, we’re kinda late on getting the ball rolling on light rail. Although we’re an increasingly bike-friendly city and future light-rail expansions are in the making. My ultimate dream is for America to upgrade from purely interstate highways to high-speed trains for mass, interstate transit of people and goods. It would make an excellent economic investment, but the push may have to wait until the economy is booming again (even though ironically, such an investment in bad economic times might help lead to better economic times). I have some faith I’ll see such development before the tail-end of the 21st century when I’m old and gray.

    • Thanks very much for your comments and following the blog! I’m surprised about Seattle’s lack of a light rail option but glad to hear that it’s developing. Speaking of the interstate, it was built decades ago for a different purpose. It was President Eisenhower that built it, formally and formerly referred to as the Eisenhower Interstate System. Have you ever seen one of those signs with the five five-pointed stars in the shape of a pentagon? It was built to serve primarily for military mobilization. Commerce was an incidental benefit. The volume of traffic in those days along with the driving patterns do not resemble anything at all how it looks today. It’s time for another push in progress and innovation in spite of the current economic crunch.

      • allthingsgeography1

         /  November 29, 2012

        I have seen the Eisenhower signs along I-29! Probably his biggest legacy and yes, military interests were the original purpose. I definitely think it’s time for America to start anew…and who knows, new, unexpected benefits may be reaped.

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