Imagining a City Without Its Public Transportation

Imagining a City Without Its Public Transportation.

Public transit is expensive, no doubt about it. But what would it mean for a city if transit were to disappear?

We all know that sometimes you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. So Washington DC has taken a look at this in a study conducted by a transportation analyst.

So what would DC area residents do if there was no regional rail, no buses, no subway?

In one scenario, taking away transit but keeping the road infrastructure the same, the study found that people would stop making long car trips because the traffic was so terrible. The regional economy would not function. People would not get jobs out of their immediate vicinity.

In a second scenario in which transit disappeared but new roads were added, the region would need to add a thousand lane miles of highway and arterial roads at a cost of $6 billion.

And people would have to park their cars somewhere. If all of the people who take some form of transit were to drive, the area would need the equivalent of 166 blocks of 5-story parking garages.

Check out the article from The Atlantic magazine and you will see maps of what all of this would look like.

“The point, though, is that transit produces an awful lot of benefits – parking garages deferred, congestion mitigated, jobs created – we don’t think about enough.”




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