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A Houston Columnist Celebrates Japan's Transit Infrastructure

The paper of record in a Texas oil town is a surprising place to find an article singing the praises of a society built on public transit instead of the automobile.
September 6, 2019, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Houston Freeway
Trong Nguyen

Chris Tomlinson writes for the Houston Chronicle:

International travel always makes me think about the choices we’ve made in America, and spending time in Japan made me think about which forms of transportation our government subsidizes and to what end.

Comparing Japan’s emphasis on shared, electric railroads to America’s focus on personal, fossil fuel vehicles is especially relevant as the world confronts climate change.

According to Tomlinson, only one of these two divergent paths, set upon after World War II, has paid off, and that's the public transit orientation of Japan. Both governments spent trillions to build out their vision of the future, and many places are continuing to sink more money into the status quo. Tomlinson cites a plan by the Texas Department of Transportation to widen I-45 in Houston as an example to back up that claim.

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Published on Monday, September 2, 2019 in Houston Chronicle
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