Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
The thing I like about Richard Fernandez is that he thinks about systems, about consequences, about the unseen effects. You never get that in the mainstream media or day-to-day political reporting.
If we consolidate everything into one system, we’ll all be equal and everything will be fair. But what if that single system crashes?
From the comments, a great analysis of why public transit is doomed, and always, always requires massive subsidies:
“Private Subways and buses were able to charge premium fare prices because the alternative to their service was the enormous cost of owning a horse — purchasing a horse, stabling it, feeding it, exercising it and watching it depreciate as it aged — all in the context of a crowded inner city. That the rise of the automobile industry began the process of making private subways and buses uneconomical. The affordable, convenient alternative to owning a horse shifted from the subways and buses to owning an automobile. The car was much cheaper. This will never change. Today’s mass-transit planners are permanently stuck in the 19th century — providing a service that fewer and fewer people want at increasingly high prices — and they have no idea why their projects are going bankrupt, because they have no idea why the great transit systems they are trying to recreate went bankrupt, or were even created in the first place.”