While car companies are certainly a pushy factor in mass transit, there are also many other issues that make mass transit difficult in the U.S. The biggest problem is the American desire for large cars and multiple cars per family. In areas outside of major cities, it is often impossible for everyone to get to work without having multiple cars. The U.S. is also extremely spread out, so mass transit really is only good in very large cities, but lots of people live outside of those cities too. It is in the rural areas where no mass transit exists, and probably never can – it is not economically feasible to install mass transit everywhere in the U.S.
Places like France or England, with very good mass transit, are much smaller and have a few very centralized focal points in the country (Paris, London, etc.). The U.S. has many cities with large populations, not just a select few.
So was it the car companies? Perhaps that’s part of it. Maybe some of the conspiracy theories about car companies destroying railroad tracks are true, but it’s not the only reason.
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