While GM and Friends Seek $50 Billion in Public Funds, There is no Mention of Help for Public Transit


image source: raisethehammer.org

We didn’t hear it in the debates. We didn’t hear it on the campaign trail. And we didn’t hear anything about mass transit outlined anywhere in the economic bailout. It is difficult to recall anytime during the recent and ongoing economic struggle any mention of any economic stimulus for public transportation that would greatly lessen Americans' 2nd largest expense after housing.The lessening demand for fuel and an increase in ridership on public transportation is a clear sign that Americans are willing to drive less. While this is the best opportunity to further invest in public transit, the government is considering meeting car manufacturers' requests for public assistance when Americans have clearly demonstrated that the most wasteful and economicly demanding invention from last century is not a necessity when alternatives are available.


image source capmetro.org in austin, tx

Instead of handing over 50 billion dollars to an industry that cannot be sustained at its peak level, public funds can be better used to fund rails, buses, and bicycle pedestrian projects that have already been engineered, already been proven, and are just waiting for funding. While GM and friends seek roughly $165 per American, there is no clear or specific plan for how that money will be used to benefit the public or save jobs.

While private automobile giants have successfully lobbied to derail mass transit infrastructure around the world for many decades, now is not the time to further subsidize them. Now is the time to look into technologically superior and proven alternatives that are significantly more efficient and could meet transportation demands for the near and far future. It will also, as a byproduct, undoubtedly create millions of new jobs, as jobs are a byproduct of the investment in industries that are in demand. Right now, while the demand for General Motors is waning, the demand for public transit is waxing. Commuters have spoken, through actions, that the use of public money is better spent on public services than on private industries. Shifting jobs from the automotive sector to the public transit sector may hurt the elite few who sit at the top of a decades long monopoly over transit infrastructure, but the millions it would almost immediately benefit is something to consider before a decision is made.

Further Reading:

How to Go Green: Public Transportation
Invest in Transit, not Cars, Says PIRG
Public Transit Looking More Attractive in the Face of Record Gas Prices

From the Forums:
European Transit vs. American

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