Public transportation

Study Says Public Transportation Works, But Only if Private Drivers Are Punished

Higher taxes, costlier fees and tight restrictions wll make trains and buses viable

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An article published earlier this month in the journal Transport Reviews argues public transportation will not succeed in the United States unless the nation's leaders adopt strict anti-motorist policies. Virginia Tech Professor Ralph Buehler and Rutgers Professor John Pucher compared the result of surveys conducted by the US Department of Transportation and the German Federal Ministry of Transport to get an idea of how people in each country choose to get around. The numbers show a consistent trend of Americans shunning the use of mass transit, especially by comparison to their European counterparts.

"Controlling for gender, age, employment, car ownership, population density, metropolitan area size, and day of the week, logistic regressions on a pooled USA-Germany data set indicate that Germans, compared with Americans, are five times more likely to ride public transport," Buehler and Pucher wrote. "The most important difference between the two countries, however, is that local, state, and federal governments in the USA have failed to restrict car use in cities, raise the cost of driving, and improve land-use policies."