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Response to Grover1908 (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 10:40 AM

2. Before blaming Democrats, perhaps a little more history?

 

The advent of personal motor vehicles and the improvements in motorized buses caused the rapid disappearance of the tram from most western and Asian countries by the end of the 1950s (for example the first major UK city to completely abandon its trams was Manchester by January 1949). Continuing technical improvements in buses made them more reliable (than before), and a serious competitor to trams because they did not require the construction of costly infrastructure. [3] However, the demise of the streetcar came when lines were torn out of the major cities by "bus manufacturing or oil marketing companies for the specific purpose of replacing rail service with buses."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_trams


The General Motors streetcar conspiracy (also known as the Great American streetcar scandal) refers to allegations and convictions in relation to a program by General Motors (GM) and other companies who purchased and then dismantled streetcar and electric train systems in many American cities.

Between 1936 and 1950, National City Lines and Pacific City Linesówith investment from GM, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California, Phillips Petroleum, Mack Trucks, and the Federal Engineering Corporationóbought over 100 electric surface-traction systems in 45 cities including Baltimore, Newark, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland and San Diego and converted them into bus operation. Several of the companies involved were convicted in 1949 of conspiracy to monopolize interstate commerce but were acquitted of conspiring to monopolize the ownership of these companies.

Some suggest that this program played a key role in the decline of public transit in cities across the United States; notably Edwin J. Quinby, who first drew attention to the program in 1946, and then Bradford C. Snell, an anti-trust attorney for the United States Senate whose controversial 1974 testimony to a Senate inquiry brought the issue to national awareness. Both Quinby and Snell argued that the deliberate destruction of streetcars was part of a larger strategy to push the United States into automobile dependency. Others say that independent economic factors brought about changes in the transit system, including the Great Depression, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, labor unrest, market forces, rapidly increasing traffic congestion, urban sprawl, taxation policies that favored private vehicle ownership, and general enthusiasm for the automobile. One writer on the subject has suggested that Snell and others fell into simplistic conspiracy theory thinking, bordering on paranoid delusions saying "Clearly, GM waged a war on electric traction. It was indeed an all out assault, but by no means the single reason for the failure of rapid transit. Also, it is just as clear that actions and inactions by government contributed significantly to the elimination of electric traction."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_conspiracy

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marmar Dec 2013 OP
Grover1908 Dec 2013 #1
LineLineNew Reply Before blaming Democrats, perhaps a little more history?
antiquie Dec 2013 #2
happyslug Dec 2013 #3
Vogon_Glory Dec 2013 #4
happyslug Dec 2013 #5
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