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Hope for Public Transit

No, technology and private industry is not ending the need for public transit, according to Jarrett Walker.
January 28, 2018, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jarrett Walker responds to the prophets of doom predicting the demise of public transit in a new era of transportation technology. According to Walker, the end of public transit is not nigh.

Walker's argument begins with a response to people complaining that transit systems don't adopt new technology fast enough, and that transit agencies are too resistant to change. In that case, Walker says you have to hear the "eternal language of marketing": "If you are trying to sell a new technology product, of courseyou imply that everyone who doesn’t use it is a dinosaur."

According to Walker, it's important to remember that technology is not a goal—it's a tool that should "serve the goals and aspirations of citizens." And public transit is not a businessit is "not monopolizing a profitable business and preventing others from entering. They are running an unprofitable service for reasons unrelated to profit: the functioning of a dense city, the liberty of its citizens, and connecting disadvantaged people to opportunity."

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Published on Sunday, January 21, 2018 in CityLab
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