A letter in your June 22 issue that attacked an excellent GT article in the previous week’s issue succeeds in getting everything wrong. The writer explains that if a train were viable, it would already be in operation. In his view, capitalism and its markets deliver the most efficient goods and services, including in the transportation sector. All he leaves out is the massive subsidies that governments at all levels have delivered to make the automobile our primary means of transportation: subsidies to roads, parking, housing and the automobile industry itself, dysfunctional urban and suburban planning and a transportation system that is responsible for at least 30% of the worldwide climate change crisis that threatens our very existence on the planet. Rail systems disappeared across America because of a systematic conspiracy (yes, conspiracy) by the automobile, tire and oil industries to replace well-functioning streetcar and train systems with the private automobile. Everywhere else around the globe, public transit, primarily based on rail, is the primary means of transportation.
RTC/Former Santa Cruz Mayor Santa Cruz
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