Well, the MTA didn’t go on strike. Yet. That’s a very good thing for the city. Last night, as we watched the news people salivate over any possible new breaks, I couldn’t help but wonder. What if the MTA was owned by the public? What if the money I spent to use it meant I owned a miniscule part of it? Do you think people would care more for the system? Do you think we’d have an input on the hiring? Would we have an input in management? I really wonder what would happen.
Now, this doesn’t only apply to the MTA. It seems that public transportation (at least in the U.S.) could use some help. And some places more than others. For example, I think we could all learn something from the Metro in Washington, D.C. Once you’ve used that system it’s hard not comparing every other system to it. It’s close to perfect. (I realize, however, it doesn’t run past midnight and it’s pretty much brand new in comparison to the Subway system.) The Metro does well even with all the jumpers. The MUNI in San Francisco was a joke. I’m sorry. I have trouble seeing it any other way. The BART is great and all, but it barely covers any ground. I haven’t used the EL in Chicago (Is that what’s it’s called?) So I have no idea if it’s any good or if people use it at all. Detroit’s People Mover makes me giggle endlessly. And unless you’re going to the downtown Casino called “Greektown” I don’t see how this system is much use to anyone. From what I hear, LA doesn’t even really have public transportation. No, really. Does anyone even use it? Judging by the smog I’d guess not. I don’t know anything about Boston’s Public Transportation sytsem. Seattle was great for walkers. I know nothing about the public transportation system. I hear it’s free.
I am told London’s Underground could use a facelift and that the cushions are basically biohazards. (Plastic wipes well, England.) I only experienced the Underground while visiting. So my judgment on it probably won’t prove very reliable. I’d love to hear about it, however.
What would happen if the users owned the system?