Wednesday, November 30, 2005

IF YOU CAN MAKE IT THERE . . . YOU MUST NOT BE PRIVATE MASS TRANSIT

Crain's New York Business is reporting that the last seven private, mass transit lines in New York are coming under the rubric of the Metropolitan Transit Authority ("MTA"). There are seven bus lines in Brooklyn and Queens that collectively run 700 buses and carry 136,000 people perday that were run privately. This is a fascinating New York carry over.

In the Chi the mass transit was consolidated into the Chicago Transit Autority in 1947. Before that, the street car, elevated, and subway lines were all private, for profit systems. For a variety of reasons, the trains were built so as to minimize head-to-head competition. Thus, while there was historic overlap heading to the North Shore, for instance, generally the train lines went north, northwest, west, southwest, and south. They all radiated from the Loop (which was not yet the Loop). World War II stopped the Franklin Street subway from being built, and then the lines were consolidated into the CTA. In other words, the changes since 1947 have been planned to avoid competition and wasted resources. Thus, the Orange Line to Midway nicely filled a gap in the city's train coverage. Ditto the expansion of the Dearborn Street subway (Blue Line) to O'Hare.

New York, on the other hand, will not close down the private era until January 1, 2006. Frankly, a quick look at the subway map makes clear that the tremendous resources that go into building subways probably could have been directed a little better.

By the way, here are a few of my favorite mass transit links (it is an interest of mine)
Buffalo
Chicago Tunnels
Cincinnati
Boston
New York City or here
Los Angeles
Rochester, NY

2 Comments:

Anonymous Pat said...

Don't forget Pittsburgh's subway attempt. They built one out to the southern suburbs, but never bothered to take it north, west or east, east being perhaps the most congested artery into the city and the direction in which I live. It's a nice, '80s-futuristic vintage train similar to the one in Washington, D.C., but even after 25 plus years it hasn't been expanded at all. What a shame.

http://www.portauthority.org/ride/pgT.asp

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Viswa said...

Well Written Article,i really looking forward to read your article...

12:17 AM  

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