Why Are Public Assets Being Cut Right When We Need Them Most?

There is an absurd Alice in Wonderland feel to the current economic crisis.


Public transportation use is at the highest level in decades. Buses and trains are overflowing, even after the steep fall of gasoline prices since last summer. Voters last November approved billions of dollars for new transit project across the country.

This is all wonderful news for anyone who cares about curbing the global climate crisis, cleaning up the environment and revitalizing our communities.

But, unfortunately, transit systems all over the country are cutting back service and raising fares.

The New York Times reports that Denver is considering axing one of its light rail lines and several bus routes. St. Louis is planning to cut bus service in half. Even New York, a city where less than half the residents own cars, is looking at eliminating two subway lines and 24 bus routes as well as a whopping 23 percent fare increase.

How can this be happening at a time when public transportation is more popular than ever? When it is proving to be a practical solution to pressing economic, ecological and energy problems?

It's the same story with public libraries.

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