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Opinion: Good Public Transit Is Crowded

Embrace the crowds.
December 20, 2018, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Aaron Gordon was inspired by the impending closure of the L Train in New York City and the recent publicity stunts of Elon Musk and the Boring Company to make an appeal for the subway.

What makes the subway such a success is not just the fact that the trains go through tunnels or travel particularly quickly. Instead, the subway is New York’s miracle precisely because of the one thing we hate about it. The subway is really, really crowded. And that’s what makes it good.

As urban areas continue to grow, Americans need to confront their intolerance for cramming together. Ubers, self-driving cars, and hyperloops titillate the imagination by promising a speedy, comfortable, and isolated vision of transportation — but all these promises are illusory. If we’re ever going to make cities work, we need to accept, and come to love, a fundamental truth: Packed urban transit is good urban transit.

That's Gordon's premise. The article goes on to present a history of crowding in U.S. transportation systems, the recent addition of tech startup money in the transportation equation, and a final call to action to embrace the crowds of public transit.

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Published on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 in Medium
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