2
Transit Use, Automobility, and Urban Form: Comparative Trends and Patterns

Early in the 20th century, American cities led the world in the introduction and use of many transit technologies. The size and shape of several American cities would be much different today if not for the advent of rapid rail and electric streetcar service that could carry thousands of workers into and out of their centers each day. This vital role continues in some very large U.S. cities. Yet in most American urban areas, a small share of residents and workers use bus and rail transit regularly, and among those who do, many are poor, elderly, or disabled, dependent on public transportation for mobility.1 At the beginning of the 21st century, all measures indicate that transit is used to a much greater extent in Western Europe, and even Canada.

A number of factors help explain why trends in public transit have unfolded so differently in North America and Europe. To be sure, the scale and timing of urbanization have differed in each region, as have the breadth and pace of suburbanization. Transit tends to work best in compact cities with strong downtowns and central business districts that concentrate activity and minimize travel diffusion. While American central cities have lost thousands of residents and businesses to suburbs, Western European and Canadian cities have retained higher levels of both.

With few exceptions, the cities of Western Europe and Canada remain dominant centers of employment, retailing, and entertainment, providing natural focal points for transit service. Meanwhile, the centers of many older American cities have relinquished much of their economic, political, and cultural dominance, losing residents and businesses even as the urban



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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 2 Transit Use, Automobility, and Urban Form: Comparative Trends and Patterns Early in the 20th century, American cities led the world in the introduction and use of many transit technologies. The size and shape of several American cities would be much different today if not for the advent of rapid rail and electric streetcar service that could carry thousands of workers into and out of their centers each day. This vital role continues in some very large U.S. cities. Yet in most American urban areas, a small share of residents and workers use bus and rail transit regularly, and among those who do, many are poor, elderly, or disabled, dependent on public transportation for mobility.1 At the beginning of the 21st century, all measures indicate that transit is used to a much greater extent in Western Europe, and even Canada. A number of factors help explain why trends in public transit have unfolded so differently in North America and Europe. To be sure, the scale and timing of urbanization have differed in each region, as have the breadth and pace of suburbanization. Transit tends to work best in compact cities with strong downtowns and central business districts that concentrate activity and minimize travel diffusion. While American central cities have lost thousands of residents and businesses to suburbs, Western European and Canadian cities have retained higher levels of both. With few exceptions, the cities of Western Europe and Canada remain dominant centers of employment, retailing, and entertainment, providing natural focal points for transit service. Meanwhile, the centers of many older American cities have relinquished much of their economic, political, and cultural dominance, losing residents and businesses even as the urban

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 regions around them have continued to grow. In many other cases, whole urban regions have emerged and matured without distinguishable centers. Thus the population and employment densities needed to support transit ridership have dissipated in many older American cities, while in many others they were never there to begin with. Western European and Canadian urban areas have also decentralized and spread out, but on a more modest scale. Indeed, in nearly all industrialized nations, urban areas have grown in population, and income development patterns and economic activity have become less concentrated around a single center. As in the United States, the private automobile has played a major role in decentralization by increasing residential and commercial development of once-remote land around central cities. Whereas automobiles were mass introduced in North America a full generation earlier than in Western Europe, the international gap in car ownership has been shrinking over time. Car ownership levels in much of Western Europe are now similar to those in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. As these trends in automobility have taken hold, however, national, regional, and local governments in Western Europe and Canada have taken steps to retain and even increase transit ridership, in part to preserve their city centers and to protect the environment in and around cities. Aided by a host of complementary policies—from high motor vehicle taxes to restrictions on downtown parking and suburban development—transit systems have managed to maintain an important, if not central, role in the transport systems of most cities and entire urban regions. Thus even as automobiles continue to proliferate throughout Western Europe, transit continues to enjoy ridership levels not experienced in the United States in more than 40 years. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENTS The current status of transit in the United States is in marked contrast to the situation much earlier in the century when American cities pioneered new mass transportation technologies. Indeed, it is often forgotten that many new forms of public transportation were first introduced widely in the United States. Beginning with the first successful installation of cable cars in San Francisco during the 1870s and electric rail street lines in Richmond a decade later, the burgeoning American cities of the late 19th century were quick to adopt, and adapt, the latest innovations in urban mobility (Middleton 1987; Pushkarev et al. 1982, 4–5).

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 Rise and Decline of American Mass Transit Unquestionably, the heyday of American transit was during the early electric streetcar era, which began in 1890 and peaked in the early 1920s. Almost overnight, American city dwellers became the most mobile people in the world. By the 1920s they were averaging more than 250 streetcar trips per year (Middleton 1987, 77). Less expensive and faster to build than the rapid rail systems (underground and elevated) found in many Western European cities—and a few large American ones (New York, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia)—the electric streetcar systems were particularly well suited to the many medium-sized and rapidly growing American cities of the early 20th century. Located on most city thoroughfares, as well as on some dedicated ways for interurban connections, the less than 2400 km of electrified traction in 1890 had grown to more than 32 000 km by the century’s end (Middleton 1987; McKay 1988, 11). Transit patronage—the vast majority on electric streetcar—escalated during the next two decades, a period that coincided with tremendous migration into American cities (Pushkarev et al. 1982, 4–5). Detroit’s population, for instance, grew from less than 300,000 to more than 1 million in the span of only two decades, from 1900 to 1920. The population of Los Angeles grew from 100,000 to 600,000 during the same period. Even established cities such as Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, and Philadelphia were growing at a fast pace as a result of migrants from the countryside and abroad (Warner 1978, 5–14). In 1880 there were only 20 U.S. cities with populations exceeding 100,000; by 1910 there were more than 50 (Middleton 1987, 77). This boom in urban growth created an intense demand for personal mobility, and the private streetcar companies could barely lay track and erect trolley wires fast enough to meet it (Foster 1981; McKay 1988, 5). From the start, American investors grasped the effect this new transportation technology would have on land values. Real estate investors, as well as electric power companies, provided a large infusion of funds to finance the new rolling stock, track, and conductor lines that would extend out to the city fringes (McKay 1976, 71; Jacobson and Tarr 1996, 13; Middleton 1987). Eager to introduce this new transportation technology widely, American cities opened their streets to multiple transit entrepreneurs, each competing for passengers and hoping to profit from the residential and commercial development their services would spur. As a result, many cities at the turn of

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 the century were served by a dozen or more streetcar companies,2 and by 1920 these mostly private entities had paid for the construction of more than 70 000 km of electric track. The widespread introduction of electric traction coincided with the advent of many other technologies and networks—from elevators and structural steel to public sewers, electricity, air conditioning, and telephones. These transportation, communications, and other technologies would quickly reshape the scale, scope, and even location of urban America (Tarr and Dupuy 1988; Smith 1984). By channeling new development within their corridors, the electric streetcar lines enabled cities to expand outward to absorb the thousands of new residents they were adding each year without the kind of overcrowding experienced at the beginning of the industrial age (Smerk 1992, 14). Residential growth congregated along the mass transportation lines because riders still needed to reach the service on foot (Smith 1984). At the same time, the many transit lines radiating out 15 km or more from downtowns spurred intense commercial development of city centers. Traveling 10 to 15 km/h, the electric streetcars could bring in thousands of workers to fill office buildings growing taller with the aid of elevators and steel structures. Thus even as urban areas were spreading out, the cores of many central cities were becoming increasingly important centers of employment and economic activity. Indeed, few American cities during the first quarter of the 20th century would have been able to grow as large or as rapidly without the early help of electric rail (Smerk 1992; Saltzman 1992). In the largest American cities, commuter railroads and rapid rail systems contributed even more to this pattern of intense downtown development and residential decentralization; in most U.S. cities, however, the electric streetcar played this role. By the mid-1920s, the electric streetcar era in the United States had peaked and was beginning to decline (Levinson 1996, 67). Real estate speculators had long since withdrawn their financial support from the industry, attracted by the more lucrative opportunities created by the automobile (Foster 1981; Altshuler et al. 1979, 396–397). Many of the private streetcar companies that had invested heavily in traction at the beginning of the century had been failing since before World War I and were being purchased at a discount and consolidated by large electric utilities and holding companies (Middleton 1987, 78–79; Hilton 1983, 38–39). Saddled with growing debt and subject to burdensome public fare and service regulations, few private companies could offer the return on capital required to expand their services

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 (Jones 1985). Private automobile jitney operators were attracting riders from the highest-traffic streetcar routes (Middleton 1987, 157–158; Hilton 1983, 40–43). In many small and medium-sized cities throughout the United States, patronage had turned sharply downward, many tracks were being paved over, and streetcars were being replaced with more flexible, free-wheeled trolley coaches and motor buses (APTA 1995, 48; Hilton 1983, 40–43). In the decade after World War I, the automobile was transformed from a recreational vehicle for the elite and hobbyists into the nation’s most popular mode of transportation. Henry Ford’s Model T and the affordable automobile revolution it spurred were welcomed enthusiastically by many cities dissatisfied with what they perceived as increasingly unresponsive and obsolete electric rail services. By the mid-1920s, private and for-hire automobiles were nearly everywhere, even in the most transit-oriented, large American cities. In New York City, more than 600,000 automobiles had been registered by 1927—equivalent to 1 car for every 12 residents (Schrag 2000, 58). Cars were owned by 1 in 8 residents in Boston and Chicago and by every third or fourth resident in Detroit, Seattle, and Los Angeles (Foster 1981, 59). To accommodate the new motor vehicles, American cities began widening their streets, paving them with asphalt, and introducing traffic control devices. Some even began planning the networks of urban freeways that would ultimately be built with the help of state and federal aid. Having only recently invested in the world’s largest subway system, even New York City was in the midst of a building boom of new highway bridges, tunnels, and parkways by the 1930s. Although few cities in the midst of the Great Depression could afford to build modern new freeways, automobiles had already become the main mode of travel for most residents of the new and booming cities of the South and West. Miami, Houston, Phoenix, and many other cities that were only small towns when electric streetcars were introduced 40 years earlier were being shaped almost from scratch by automobiles and the highways that accommodated them. Though still rare at the time in Western Europe, more than 25 million automobiles were registered in the United States by 1935 (AAMA 1997, 8). One in two American households owned a car, and ownership rates were especially high in small and medium-sized cities, where transit ridership was fast declining (Jones 1985; AAMA 1993, 24). Electric streetcar ridership had dropped precipitously in these cities through the 1920s, eclipsed not only by the automobile but also by the more efficient and flexible motor

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 bus (Smerk 1992, 18; Levinson 1996; Saltzman 1992, 26). By the onset of World War II, disinvestment in electric streetcars was well under way, with half the nation’s original electric streetcar network having been taken out of service (Pushkarev et al. 1982). Buttressed by demand from World War II, public transportation enjoyed a respite during the early 1940s. By decade’s end, however, the downward trend in ridership had resumed at an accelerated pace (see Figure 2-1). Operations were increasingly hindered by downtown traffic, and in the eyes of many motorists and city officials, the lumbering streetcars and rough trolley tracks were a major source of congestion (Middleton 1987, 168; Vuchic 1999, 9–10). Most cities continued to charge private streetcar companies for the street space they used and for a portion of street maintenance costs. On streetcar lines with declining patronage, passenger revenues could not cover these costs, hastening abandonment. Domestic production of streetcars ended in 1951, by which time less than 16 000 km of electric streetcar track remained in service (Middleton 1987, 169). During the next decade, another 10 000 km was abandoned (Pushkarev et al. 1982, 6–7). Most street rails were paved over, while many interurban rail lines were dismantled and rights-of-way sold or converted to highways. By the 1960s, buses had become the main mode of public transportation, except in a handful of American cities that had retained limited streetcar service (Boston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco) or more extensive rapid rail systems (Middleton 1987, 170; Saltzman 1992, 31; Levinson 1996, 72–73). Most of the remaining rail lines were separated from automobile traffic, operating in tunnels, on elevated track, or on exclusive rights-of-way. Though too late to save most streetcar lines, federal aid introduced in the mid-1960s enabled many state and local governments to purchase private bus companies and consolidate their operations within metropolitan transit authorities. Nevertheless, patronage continued to decline into the 1970s. By this time, suburban expansion, declining central cities, and the withdrawal of private capital from the transit industry had been under way for several decades. Increasingly dispersed urban populations, retail services, and other businesses, often accompanied by the desertion of many downtown commercial areas, made large concentrations of riders difficult to find. Inner-city crime, racial tensions, and concerns about the quality of city schools further undermined the traditional base of city riders (Meyer and Gómez-Ibáñez 1981, 41, 223).

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 FIGURE 2-1 U.S. trends in annual passenger trips by transit mode, 1920–1998 (APTA, selected years, 1977–2000).

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 Though women were entering the labor force in record numbers and many maturing baby boomers were reaching adulthood, few would choose transit over automobiles. Indeed, the proliferation of female workers and two-income households during the 1970s enhanced the appeal of office buildings located closer to suburban residential communities accessible almost exclusively by the automobile (Garreau 1991, 112). Growing federal infusions of funds for new transit infrastructure and equipment, coupled with other government aid to reduce fares, helped stem the absolute decline in ridership during the mid-1970s. Ridership has increased only slightly since, however, and transit’s share of all trips has continued to drop in most urban areas, even where government aid has grown. Having accounted for about 18 percent of urban travel in the United States as late as 1950, transit’s share had declined to less than 3 percent by 1975 (Pushkarev and Zupan 1977; Altshuler et al. 1979, 21–22). Today it is at about 2 percent. Relative Stability in Western Europe and Canada Compared with American cities, the more established Western European cities at the turn of the century introduced electric streetcars at a slower pace and on a smaller scale.3 Many Western European cities had strictures against land speculation that made private investment in electric traction less appealing than in the United States (Jacobson and Tarr 1996,13). Streetcar operators often held long-term, exclusive citywide franchises for transit services and therefore were not compelled by competition to invest widely in the new electric technology. Even by the 1890s, transit operators in many Western European cities were heavily regulated or owned outright by local governments. These arrangements provided little incentive and opportunity for private investment in the new electric streetcar technology (McKay 1988, 6; McKay 1976, 191). Many large Western European cities did invest heavily in underground and elevated rapid rail systems at the turn of the century, and an extensive network of passenger and commuter railroads was in place by this time. Acceptance of electric streetcars was slower, however. The task of planning and installing the lines was more difficult on the narrow and meandering city streets of Western Europe than on the newer, wider, and straighter streets found in most American cities (McKay 1988, 8–9; McShane 1994). Western Europeans in small and medium-sized cities were more reluctant to

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 Historic plaza of Amagertov in Copenhagen. (© UITP. Reprinted with permission from Public Transport International, No. 5, 1999, p.43.)

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 permit the conversion of their public squares and “walking” streets into traffic ways for streetcars, while officials in large cities spent much time trying to blend the new tracks and electric wires into their stately boulevards and historic plazas (McKay 1976, 84). They also took seriously the potential hazards of the overhead power lines and carefully studied alternative means of distributing power safely and in an aesthetically acceptable manner (McKay 1976, 84).4 Thus by the turn of the century, electric streetcar use was two to three times higher in the United States and was still higher some 20 years later (McKay 1988; McShane 1988). By the 1920s, however, the pattern had changed. Transit ridership had risen in Western Europe and was still heading upward as patronage was flattening and about to decline in the United States. The need to attract and retain private capital—a daunting challenge for rail operators in the United States—was less of a factor in Western Europe. One reason is that Western European governments had already become a primary source of transit funding. Although private transit companies were common in Western Europe at first, competition among operators was generally eschewed in favor of publicly owned or subsidized regional franchises. Municipal ownership, tried first in Glasgow in 1894,5 was the norm even before World War I, by which time publicly owned transit systems in Western Europe carried four times more passengers than private operators (McKay 1988; Jacobson and Tarr 1996). Many Western European transit systems also suffered losses in ridership even before World War II. As in the United States, motor buses replaced service on thousands of kilometers of lightly traveled streetcar lines beginning in the 1930s. In Sweden, France, and Great Britain especially, many entire systems were replaced with buses. Western European bus and rail transit systems, however, did not encounter the same degree of competition from private automobiles after World War II. Hence a number of Western European cities (e.g., Nantes) were successful in reacquiring these old streetcar rights-of-way for modern light rail systems. Indeed, by the time automobiles arrived en masse in Western Europe during the 1960s, environmental concerns had made road building far more difficult and costly than in the pre- and early postwar years. Preservation of the transit infrastructure that remained in place became a priority for Western European governments as the addition of new infrastructure grew increasingly costly and complicated to achieve.

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 Luxembourg’s tram system in the 1950s. (© UITP. Reprinted with permission from Public Transport International, No. 4, 1998, A. Groff, Tramways in Luxembourg: The End of an Era and a New Beginning, p. 22.)

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 electric trolley lines (Pushkarev and Zupan 1977, 4–5). Retailers and other consumer-oriented businesses soon followed suit. Likewise, larger freight-hauling trucks, introduced widely in the 1930s, permitted land-intensive manufacturers to move farther from city ports and railheads, often to the suburban periphery, spurring further outward movement of workers (Anas and Moses 1979). Hence while many American urban areas—including many booming “frontier” cities such as Houston and Los Angeles—were shaped initially by the electric streetcar early in the 20th century, all have been fundamentally reshaped by the decades-long dominance of the automobile. Indeed, most large urban areas in the United States have grown significantly since the mass introduction of the automobile during the 1920s. With rare exceptions, even the slowest-growing urban areas have experienced large population gains during this time, all formed in large measure by the automobile. Meanwhile, urban population growth has been modest in Western Europe since the widespread introduction of the automobile there, beginning in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, all of Western Europe’s largest cities of today were mature when automobiles arrived 40 years ago. Certainlynone has emerged in the same manner as Phoenix, Orlando, or Charlotte in the United States—cities that have been thoroughly shaped by the automobile, essentially from their inception.18 When large numbers of Western Europeans began driving cars 40 years ago, they did so mostly in mature cities with infrastructure and settlement patterns influenced largely by walking and later by public transit (Tarr 1984; McKay 1988). Even those Western European cities rebuilt following World War II had to meet the needs of residents who at the time had little access to automobiles. Figure 2-12 shows that less than one-third of all passenger travel was by automobile in Great Britain as late as 1952. Travel by bus and bicycle was more popular then, and cars did not account for more than half of all travel until early in the next decade. Such sharp differences in the timing of urban development and the mass introduction of transport technologies are important when considering why Western European cities have remained more conducive to public transit. As shown in Figure 2-13, nearly all of the 10 Western European central cities sampled earlier had attained at least half of what would be their maximum population by 1920. Moreover, it was during the electric streetcar era, which lasted from about 1900 to 1950 in Western

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 FIGURE 2-12 Share of passenger travel by mode in Great Britain, 1952–1996. [Source: U.K. Department of the Environment, Transport, and Regions (www.detr.gov.uk).]

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 FIGURE 2-13 Timing of central city population growth and automobile ownership for selected Western European cities, 1900–1990.

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 Europe, that these 10 cities grew the most. All had reached 75 percent or more of their maximum population before 1960, when automobiles were just starting to be used widely. By comparison, only 4 of the 10 sampled American central cities had reached 75 percent of their maximum population by 1930, when automobiles were being introduced widely in the United States (see Figure 2-14). These four—Pittsburgh, Cleveland, St. Louis, and Baltimore—are older, industrialized cities. Three of the other six central cities examined—Tampa, Miami, and Phoenix (all three being in their incipiency)—had not even reached 40 percent of their peak population by 1930, and the other three were still 25 to 50 percent short of their eventual maximums. Such differences in the timing of urban growth in the United States and Western Europe, especially in relation to the widespread use of the automobile, suggest the importance of historical developments in explaining variations in transit usage today. Automobiles have long dominated the urban landscape of the United States, but they are relative newcomers in the older cities of Western Europe (see Table 2-10). Whereas this observation suggests a possible convergence of American and Western European rates of car use and ownership, future trends will undoubtedly be affected by factors in addition to income growth. More difficult to explain on the basis of historical and economic circumstances is the persistent gap in transit use among U.S. and Canadian cities. Although Canadian central cities have suffered less population decline than American cities, cars were introduced early in Canada. The most rapid growth in Canadian urban areas, as in the United States, occurred after the widespread introduction of automobiles. Yet despite these similarities, transit usage is two to three times higher in Canada. In the next chapter specific policies and practices employed abroad to promote public transit are reviewed. Although Western Europe is the focus, the discussion also indicates the many factors that differentiate Canada from the United States.

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 FIGURE 2-14 Timing of central city population growth and automobile ownership for selected U.S. cities, 1900–1990.

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 Table 2-10 Historical Trends in Passenger Car Ownership per Capita: United States, Canada, and Selected Western European Countries Country Year 1960 1970 1980 1990 1995 Registered Cars (thousands) Belgium 1,503a 2,059 3,158 3,833 4,239 Canada 4,104 6,602 10,255 12,662 13,182 France 4,950 11,860 18,440 23,010 24,900 West Germany 4,558 13,298 21,454 27,217 40,499b Great Britain 5,650 11,801 15,632 22,527 24,306 Netherlands 1,272a 2,405 4,240 5,196 5,633 Sweden NA 2,443 2,882 3,600 3,630 United States 61,671 89,243 121,600 143,459 148,500 Cars per 1,000 Persons Belgium 167a 210 322 387 424 Canada 241 300 417 455 455 France 110 237 343 405 429 West Germany 83 218 346 439 494b Great Britain 109 215 278 395 411 Netherlands 116a 185 301 349 368 Sweden NA 305 347 419 408 United States 352 435 533 563 571 Note: NA = not available. a1965 data. bUnified Germany.

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257 NOTES 1.   The American Public Transportation Association (APTA 1995, 13–14) observes that transit systems in the United States serve the following two distinct markets: (a)nondiscretionary (transit-dependent) riders, consisting of individuals who do not have regular access to a private automobile, including the elderly, disabled, students, and members of households unable to afford a motor vehicle or more than one car; and (b) discretionary (transit-choice) riders, consisting of people who elect to use transit for travel speed, comfort, and convenience, often to avoid traffic congestion and parking difficulties. 2.   By 1910, however, many of these smaller companies had consolidated into single citywide franchises because of the advantages of having a single coal-powered electric production facility (Hilton 1983, 34). 3.   Although few Western European cities introduced electric streetcars as rapidly as American cities, German cities were the fastest to do so, while the cities of Great Britain were among the slowest (McKay 1976, 67–73). 4.   Decorative support poles and underground supply lines were installed in many Western European cities as a result (McKay 1976, 74). A few large U.S. cities, most notably Manhattan and Washington, D.C., also required underground conduits for power lines in certain locations, but such requirements were generally less common (Schrag 2000). 5.   When Glasgow “municipalized” private streetcar operations in 1894, the streetcar fleet was all horse-drawn. Electric service did not begin until 1898. 6.   Per capita transit ridership measures are often calculated using the subpopulation within the transit service territory, usually excluding the unserved but fastest-growing populations in the outer urban fringe. To provide a more complete picture of transit’s transportation role for the entire urban region, the ratios used here were derived on the basis of the total population in each urbanized area. 7.   In the very largest U.S. cities with rapid transit systems, middle- and high-income riders account for a larger portion of ridership, especially during the peak commuting periods. Transit accounts for about 85 percent of the peak-hour entrants in Manhattan; about two-thirds in downtown Chicago; and more than half in the central business districts of Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. 8.   Larger cities (population exceeding 5 million) were excluded because of the small number available for comparison. Cities were selected largely on the basis of data availability. 9.   As shown in Table 2-4, passenger fare revenues accounted for 38 percent of operating costs for the United States as a whole because of the disproportionate effect of New York, Chicago, and several other large systems on national aggregate figures. These systems recover a higher share of their operating costs from fare box revenues. 10.   For instance, see Mieszkowski and Mills 1993. 11.   Even in fast-growing central cities in the Western United States, such as Denver,

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Making Transit Work: Insight from Western Europe, Canada, and the United States - Special Report 257     population gains have been greater in surrounding suburbs (Katz and Bradley 1999). 12.   Although the Metro rapid rail transit system has contributed to the development of some suburban regional centers, the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority is challenged to better serve (with a combination of rail and bus services) the growing amount of suburb-to-suburb travel in the region. 13.   Still, subcenters, or edge cities, can be found in Western Europe—from the “new towns” outside London and Stockholm to the “metropoles” outside Paris (Meadows 1998). 14.   It should be recognized in making such cross-national comparisons that varying definitions are used to delineate urban boundaries. The data provided for the Western European cities are based on Western European Union (EUROSTAT) measures of urbanized areas or “agglomerations” (NUREC 1994). Buildings separated by less than 200 m are defined as being part of the contiguous built-up area comprising and bounding an urban agglomeration. American urbanized areas, as defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, comprise contiguous territory with a density of at least 625 people per square kilometer. Because city parks, greenbelts, and other close-in land that does not meet these density requirements are included by the Census Bureau as part of urbanized areas (to eliminate enclaves or to close indentations in the boundary), the comparability of the maps in Figure 2-8 is limited. Nevertheless, the maps of three American and three Western European urban areas offer visual evidence of how the latter remain more concentric and compact. 15.   See Regional Plan Association of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, “Building a Metropolitan Greensward,” available at www.rpa.org. 16.   Initially, the municipal region of greater Toronto consisted of a city center of about 170 km2 and a suburban region consisting of about 600 km2. Many governmental functions and services were shared by the center city and the suburbs that comprised the municipal region. However, most metropolitan-area growth has occurred outside this region during the past 30 years. Today, nearly half the metropolitan population of greater Toronto resides outside the original boundaries of the municipal region. 17.   See Official Plan for the Region of Ottawa-Carleton, April 1999 (www.rmoc.on.ca/planning). 18.   Of the 40 largest urban areas in the United States in 1995 (all exceeding 1 million in population), nearly half had urbanized area populations of less than 100,000 in 1900. Moreover, more than one-third barely registered as towns 100 years ago, having a combined population of less than 400,000. Together, these 14 urban areas—Charlotte, Dallas, Greensboro, Houston, Las Vegas, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, and Tampa—had a total population of more than 25 million in 1995.

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