What Cars Took: the Middle Class

Following on the recent, promising news of increased transit ridership around the country, one writer calls for an end to the institutional bias toward cars. The key point of the appeal: public transit infrastructure benefits the middle class.

Following on the recent statistics that show transit ridership approaching record levels not seen since the 1950s, Jon Terbush follows up with an article detailing the positive benefits of investments in public transit—as compared to the status quo of political dominance by investments favoring the automobile and reductions in transit service.

“And just as improvements to public transit mostly impact the middle class, so, too, do negative service changes. Indeed, the erosion in the middle class' share of overall income correlates neatly with a reduction in federal infrastructure spending.”

“Moreover, the lion's share of economic activity created by pouring money into mass transit would go to the middle class. A 2012 Treasury report concluded that 80 percent of the jobs created by infrastructure investments — not only in public transit, though that would make up a great deal of the investment spending — would go to three sectors: construction, manufacturing, and retail trade. Of those jobs, 90 percent would be expected to offer middle-class wages.”

Full Story: How the U.S.'s obsession with cars is hurting the middle class

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