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Old 01-12-2014, 08:48 PM
 
Location: East coast
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I noticed, in most of the US there is an association of transit-friendliness with certain views on the political spectrum.

For example, in the US, the left-wing cities tend to be more public transit friendly, obviously with examples of NYC, San Francisco being the archetypes etc. plus the stereotypically liberal college towns. Rural areas or conservative towns and cities have less public transit. Often this is associated with "big government", since public transit is seen as something requiring a lot of tax money and car ownership associated with more individualism and economic independence. Whatever the causality or whatever the direction of correlation, this seems to be the case within the country.

It seems to hold across countries too (at least at the country level). European countries seem more liberal than the United States and have more public transit. Canadian and Australian public transit is said to be in between the US and Europe and indeed those countries are also intermediate politically on the spectrum: more liberal than the US but less liberal than Europe.

Are there exceptions? Is public transit usually associated with left wing places everywhere?

One exception that seems to stand out is Japan. I don't know that much about its politics but it seems not particularly left-wing, yet has big, dense cities with ample public transit.

Also, does anyone know if this is always, or generally the case that left-wing views and public transit go hand in hand, or is it likely just my impression (based on US worldview assumptions, with only a little knowledge of Europe)?
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:52 PM
 
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Cities in general and public transit in particular are associated with the left in the US, yes.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:53 PM
 
Location: southern california
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in france if you have got any money you buy a small car so you dont have to ride the public transport with the thugs. this is especially true in the suburbs of paris. the thugs that are holding the CEO hostage at michelin right this minute, are the same ones that ride the public transport. i keep reading posts on these threads claiming europe loves public transport, rubbish.
mass transit another obama great society program that is utterly unfunded.
mexico uses buses which cost a fraction of what rail costs. japan spends over 12% of its gnp on rail.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:18 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,989 posts, read 41,979,923 times
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I think you have the cause and effect wrong:


Quote:
For example, in the US, the left-wing cities tend to be more public transit friendly, obviously with examples of NYC, San Francisco being the archetypes etc. plus the stereotypically liberal college towns.
Places where public transit works well tend to be liberal, that doesn't mean their liberalness is what them support transit more. A Republican from NYC is likely to still support transit funding, a democrat from a rural area indifferent.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Plenty of Lib's in Miami, Fort Lauderdale/Broward County, and Palm Beach who would curse you out for suggesting we raise taxes to expand mass transit or cycling facilities...you'd think we were proposing to come around and round up all their cars or something. I would imageine it is similar, for example, for some pretty liberal parts of LA and San Diego. Personally I lean conservative on most issues, voted for Romney, but I still support public transportation and use it regularly despite having limited system where I live (and no, it is not because I can't afford a car or because I got a DUI). IMHO, there is definitely a statistical relationship, but it doesn't apply to everybody, especially not in liberal districts which are car dependent.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,085,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
I noticed, in most of the US there is an association of transit-friendliness with certain views on the political spectrum.

For example, in the US, the left-wing cities tend to be more public transit friendly, obviously with examples of NYC, San Francisco being the archetypes etc. plus the stereotypically liberal college towns. Rural areas or conservative towns and cities have less public transit. Often this is associated with "big government", since public transit is seen as something requiring a lot of tax money and car ownership associated with more individualism and economic independence. Whatever the causality or whatever the direction of correlation, this seems to be the case within the country.

It seems to hold across countries too (at least at the country level). European countries seem more liberal than the United States and have more public transit. Canadian and Australian public transit is said to be in between the US and Europe and indeed those countries are also intermediate politically on the spectrum: more liberal than the US but less liberal than Europe.

Are there exceptions? Is public transit usually associated with left wing places everywhere?

One exception that seems to stand out is Japan. I don't know that much about its politics but it seems not particularly left-wing, yet has big, dense cities with ample public transit.

Also, does anyone know if this is always, or generally the case that left-wing views and public transit go hand in hand, or is it likely just my impression (based on US worldview assumptions, with only a little knowledge of Europe)?
At the federal level, two of the big spenders on public transit have been Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

Hong Kong doesn't really have the Us vs. Them style of politics, but it generally leans more conservative than most countries in the region. It has the best, most comprehensive public transit system in the world.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:22 AM
 
6,816 posts, read 6,951,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
in france if you have got any money you buy a small car so you dont have to ride the public transport with the thugs. this is especially true in the suburbs of paris. the thugs that are holding the CEO hostage at michelin right this minute, are the same ones that ride the public transport. i keep reading posts on these threads claiming europe loves public transport, rubbish.
mass transit another obama great society program that is utterly unfunded.
mexico uses buses which cost a fraction of what rail costs. japan spends over 12% of its gnp on rail.
Wasn't mass transit here before most of us knew who Obama was? And mass transit is pretty much needed in European cities because their cities weren't built around the automobile...those cities are over 1000 years old...without transit, I couldn't even imagine the grid lock, especially a city like Paris where most of the streets are extremely tight.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:57 AM
 
1,264 posts, read 2,151,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
in france if you have got any money you buy a small car so you dont have to ride the public transport with the thugs. this is especially true in the suburbs of paris. the thugs that are holding the CEO hostage at michelin right this minute, are the same ones that ride the public transport. i keep reading posts on these threads claiming europe loves public transport, rubbish.
mass transit another obama great society program that is utterly unfunded.
Absolutly wrong, the thugs that are holding the CEO hostage at michelin (infact it was Continental) were industrial workers. The plant is located in Northern France.
Industrial lands have often the less well served by public transportation than the office areas, so infact industrial workers have a higher use of cars to go at work than mid level excutives and other office workers.

This is even more true in Paris area.
Paris is pretty much white colars, there are very few industrial jobs and most of the industrial jobs are high tech, IT and other high productive manufacturing.
Paris was very industrial in the past but like London and New York, it largely become a finance/business/service based economy.
Paris has one of the largest office stock in the world with 600 million sq ft and a low vancancy rate of 6.5%.

Note that it is not difficult to have a car in France.
Even poor people have it.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:41 AM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,940,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
japan spends over 12% of its gnp on rail.
Do you have a source for this?
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,421 posts, read 11,929,235 times
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Last I checked Utah is pretty keen on public transit. I mean Salt Lake City isn't as right-wing as you'd think (the city itself is quite progressive) but support for commuter rail is even pretty popular out in the ruby red burbs.

I think honestly a lot of it still comes down to the legacy of race in America. Places which already have mass transit can keep it an expand it of course. But places where there was a good deal of white flight in the mid to late 20th century, and no transit system was set up, tend to think of mass transit as something for poor people - especially poor black and brown people. In contrast, in areas where the core city doesn't have a large historic underclass you don't see the same animosity towards transit, because people aren't afraid of "those people" moving into their neighborhood once a commuter line is put in, and don't see public transit as a form of welfare given to the undeserving.
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