View Poll Results: Was government takeover of transit a good idea?

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    24 53.33%
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Thread: Should the government be in charge of public transportation?

  1. #1
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    Should the government be in charge of public transportation?

    First off, just let me say that I hate saying public transportation because it has a negative connotation associated with it. I prefer the term transit. That said, do you support the government taking over intercity rail and bus travel?

    "In June 1940, the transportation assets of the former BMT and IRT systems were taken over by the City of New York for operation by the City's Board of Transportation, which already operated the IND system. In 1953 the New York City Transit Authority, a state agency incorporated for the benefit of the city, now known to the public as MTA New York City Transit, succeeded the BoT.

    A combination of factors had this takeover coincide with the end of the major rapid transit building eras in New York City. The City immediately began to eliminate what it considered redundancy in the system, closing several elevated lines including the IRT Ninth Avenue Line and most of the IRT Second Avenue El in Manhattan, and the BMT Fifth and Third Avenue Lines and most of the BMT Fulton Street Line in Brooklyn."

    History of the New York City Subway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Re: Should the government be in charge of public transportation?

    2nd avenue subway:

    "The construction of the Second Avenue line would add another two tracks to fill the gap that has existed since the elevated IRT Second Avenue Line was demolished in 1940-42 and the IRT Third Avenue Line was removed in 1955-56."

    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Avenue_Subway]Second Avenue Subway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    Guess who approved the demolition? The government. Great idea!

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

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    Re: Should the government be in charge of public transportation?

    Public transportation is an essential service and the private sector will not be as efficient to manage it. There should be some players from both govt and private sectors competing to raise standards.

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    Re: Should the government be in charge of public transportation?

    Quote Originally Posted by RDS View Post
    Public transportation is an essential service and the private sector will not be as efficient to manage it. There should be some players from both govt and private sectors competing to raise standards.
    Do you have an argument to support that claim?

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

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    Re: Should the government be in charge of public transportation?

    Much of it can only exist with government because it can force people who don't take mass transit to pay for those who do.

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    Re: Should the government be in charge of public transportation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    Much of it can only exist with government because it can force people who don't take mass transit to pay for those who do.
    And that's desirable?

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

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    Re: Should the government be in charge of public transportation?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Do you have an argument to support that claim?
    I am speaking from experience in my country.

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    Re: Should the government be in charge of public transportation?

    Quote Originally Posted by RDS View Post
    I am speaking from experience in my country.
    Which is what?

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

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    Re: Should the government be in charge of public transportation?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Which is what?
    80% here rely on public transport. Private sector don't have the means and expertese to build and manage a MRT system and implement ERP system. Bus services were bad some 15 years ago until the govt chipped in with expertise and even bought over one of the bus companies.

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    Re: Should the government be in charge of public transportation?

    Yes and no. Depends. Public transport is as much politically motivated as it is a service for the people.

    There are many aspects of public transport and some of them are not profitable, but are needed. Bus services in rural areas for example, school bus systems and so on.

    So it is not as cut and dry, black and white. You can easily have a private run company run a public transport system for a public owned/run mother organisation for example. Or have a public transport company on the stock market where the state owns 51%.

    The problem is the role of public transport. In most countries it is not only supplying transport in high population areas, but also in rural low population areas. And the latter is not always profitable, but it is seen socially and politically as a necessary cost.

    But every country is different.. or rather, the US vs every other country is different. The dependence of American's on the car hurts public transport more than anything and especially investment.

    In Europe for example, public transport is an integral part of every city and often of every rural town as well. And it is only growing since the massive investment in high speed rail across Europe.

    Now in Europe private companies have far from been successful in running a whole sector. The governments has in most cases either run the public transport system as a company in it self, or had an umbrella organisation that set the terms and conditions for what is required of the public transport system and then outsourced the routes individually or in bulk to private companies. This is mostly done in bus public transport.

    The UK tried privatising train service and it has been an utter failure. The UK has some of the most expensive train service in Europe (non Underground) and only last month the government were forced to take over one of the key train lines in the country because the private company gave up.

    On the flip side, you have the London Underground or the high speed rail system in France and Spain. The French system, run by publicly owned trade company, has a yearly profit of 1 billion Euros on average and increasing.

    But one of the biggest issues with public transport, especially rail.. infrastructure. Investing in infrastructure for rail is expensive, and often the existing rail is some what public owned in the first place.
    PeteEU

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