Friday, July 1, 2016

Streetcars in DC destroyed by law, not by competition

TheHill: "Perhaps we should look to the past for a way forward. Until the 1940s, Washington had the best streetcar system in the nation, owned and operated by the North American Company, a public utility holding company. The anti-speculative Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 required North American to sell off the streetcar in 1946 after losing a Supreme Court decision, and then the D.C. Department of Highways, the national highway lobby, the auto industry and their congressional allies required new owners to replace streetcars with buses starting in 1956. Washington's mass transit ridership went into a downward spiral for the next 20 years until the advent of Metro's first rail-operating segment."

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