Before You Vote This Super Tuesday, Read This Cartoon
And if you're worried about a "socialist" candidate making it into office, well...you might want to look at *all* the candidates' transportation plans.
Editor’s Note: A version of this post originally appeared on Streetsblog LA.
For your Election Day funnies, let’s revisit a classic Boston cartoon about where the real socialism lies in these United States: on the open road. The cartoon is by Dan Wasserman of the Boston Globe. The “T” is Boston’s public transportation systems operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
Lately, election pundits have been critical of some candidates for advocating socialism. But the U.S.A. has always solved a lot of issues using collective solutions: mail, defense, law enforcement, and — yes – transportation. All those roads and highways are publicly-funded and publicly-maintained — even if the way we distribute those collective resources disproportionately favors drivers.
Many drivers tend to opine that Amtrak, high speed rail, metro buses and trains, and even bicyclists are freeloaders who benefit from the taxes and fees paid by drivers —and that if we want robust transit, those systems should charge enough fares to pay for themselves. But this is a pernicious double-standard. No highway makes a profit. Transportation systems are publicly-funded (ie: “socialist”) because they benefit broad swaths of society. Car infrastructure is funded by many broad-based taxes that are paid by everyone, not just those who drive.
Of course, some candidates’ transportation plans are a little more car-focused than others. Read the Streetsblog take on their plans — and if you live in a Super Tuesday state, go vote like your future depends on it!
Register now before we sell out! Act against climate change and create universal mobility at the 2020 National Shared Mobility Summit, March 17-19 in Chicago. Meet leaders from the public and private sectors and learn the latest policies and practices. Form partnerships and make new modes work for communities of all sizes.