Urban Fold

Cuts to Public Transit Endangering Sustainable City Agenda

In their attempts to deal with their budget deficits, state and local governments are slashing public transit funding, which may leave residents little choice but to return to their cars.

Sasha Abramsky writes in the Guardian that, while the BP oil disaster has revived discussions about the problems of oil dependence, at the same time public transit systems are being "decimated" by budget cuts.

"[In] Sacramento, huge service cuts, designed to save the local transit system $12m, are now in effect. Twenty-six weekday bus routes have been entirely eliminated, along with many weekend routes. Late night light rail service has been ended, and earlier evening services slashed. New Jersey recently cut more than 30 trains for commuters. Cleveland cuts services by 12%. And the list goes on.

In the Denver region, where a succession of mayors have been promoting sustainable growth models in recent years that rely heavily on an expanded public transit system being able to bring commuters in from the suburbs, cutbacks are putting the new model at risk. [O]nce that relationship of consumers to public transit systems is broken it may well prove impossible to rebuild – even when the economy rebounds."

Full Story: Bus cuts drive Americans back to cars

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