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Old 03-31-2014, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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You left off the picture. I have never seen streetcar tracks on a dirt road.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
My hypothesis is that there are more lane-miles of paved road per person today than there were before the automobile became prolific. Additionally, modern asphalt roads require more maintenance than brick and concrete that were used more often in the past.
There's also more airplanes per capita.

Obviously privately owned and operated public transportation can still work in the modern era. Airline industry did very well for itself for a long time despite having to compete with highways. Japan has a lot of privately-owned public transportation operators, Tokyo Metro for one. Works fine. Hong Kong and Seoul both have government-owned operators. They also work fine. Both methods can work well.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
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Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
There's also more airplanes per capita.

Obviously privately owned and operated public transportation can still work in the modern era. Airline industry did very well for itself for a long time despite having to compete with highways. Japan has a lot of privately-owned public transportation operators, Tokyo Metro for one. Works fine. Hong Kong and Seoul both have government-owned operators. They also work fine. Both methods can work well.
I haven't given it much thought, but on the surface, I have no problem with running mass-transit like airlines. Let the transit company be responsible for operating costs, and some capital costs, (i.e. employees, vehicles, etc.) and let the government foot the bill for the other capital expenditures required for infrastructure. (i.e. tracks, stops, stations, etc.)
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
I haven't given it much thought, but on the surface, I have no problem with running mass-transit like airlines. Let the transit company be responsible for operating costs, and some capital costs, (i.e. employees, vehicles, etc.) and let the government foot the bill for the other capital expenditures required for infrastructure. (i.e. tracks, stops, stations, etc.)
Basically how it operates in Asia. Doesn't matter much if it's privately or publicly owned and operated, it operates mostly the same way. Most of the expansions are joint public-private.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:42 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You left off the picture. I have never seen streetcar tracks on a dirt road.
Almost all urban roads were paved by the late 1940s.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:46 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,080,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
I haven't given it much thought, but on the surface, I have no problem with running mass-transit like airlines. Let the transit company be responsible for operating costs, and some capital costs, (i.e. employees, vehicles, etc.) and let the government foot the bill for the other capital expenditures required for infrastructure. (i.e. tracks, stops, stations, etc.)
That's how it works in the UK, too. But the government makes private companies offer unprofitable transit service and pays for it. Rail lines to small towns can't cover close to operating costs, ditto with bus service in lower density areas. But there's a political demand for them. This is run by a private company, but the government is footing the bill:

North Wales Coast Line - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Almost all urban roads were paved by the late 1940s.
I'd imagine so. Someone posted a picture on my hometown's Facebook page of a streetcar on the main street in 1907. The street was paved.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
My hypothesis is that there are more lane-miles of paved road per person today than there were before the automobile became prolific. Additionally, modern asphalt roads require more maintenance than brick and concrete that were used more often in the past.
Not really. The Auto becomes prolific in the 20ies. Asphalt is cheaper and gives a smoother ride than brick or concrete, however concrete is still in use. Pure Asphalt is used where traffic is light and slower speed like say an side street, Concrete where traffic is heavy and fast, expressways. Often we use both Asphalt top on Concrete base to give a smoother ride while still having an strong support for the road.

The automobile took off for the same reason why people don't prefer mass transit today. It is more time efficient for it's user in many cases. A bus, trolley, or El must make stops, must run a route(which might not be efficient for you), is not available on demand(my car is always ready). Busses, street cars and other things also impose limits on how much and what you can carry, these make the automobile a much more attractive way to travel for all but a few rail buffs like me.

The rise of the automobile is separate from the rise of suburbia. Suburbs have always exsisted but before the auto they were more for the well off than for Joe the factory worker. The interstate highway system opened the burbs to Joe the factory worker.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:12 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,867,032 times
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
That's how it works in the UK, too. But the government makes private companies offer unprofitable transit service and pays for it. Rail lines to small towns can't cover close to operating costs, ditto with bus service in lower density areas. But there's a political demand for them. This is run by a private company, but the government is footing the bill:

North Wales Coast Line - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the US, it was the hot potato nature of private monopolies, government restrictions, and the rise of the auto that spelled doom. In the U.S. there were no subsidies and so transit had to foot much of the bill itself, meanwhile there were caps on fairs that held rates far too low for too long and if the company cut service the local government would often threaten to take away it's rights to run down the street. This was the situation in Chicago that led the creation of the CTA.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Originally Posted by chirack View Post
In the US, it was the hot potato nature of private monopolies, government restrictions, and the rise of the auto that spelled doom. In the U.S. there were no subsidies and so transit had to foot much of the bill itself, meanwhile there were caps on fairs that held rates far too low for too long and if the company cut service the local government would often threaten to take away it's rights to run down the street. This was the situation in Chicago that led the creation of the CTA.
The 5-cent fare in exchange for monopoly rights was the biggest reason. It kind of worked for a time when inflation was low, but it was already a problem by the time the depression began. Once you started having the inflation with the fixed 5-cent fare, it was just pretty much over.

But the political climate at the time hated monopolies, so vertical integration and increasing the fare was a political impossibility.
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