22 hours ago
While visiting Connecticut, we went to visit the local trolley museum. My kids love to go every year. It never seems to get old. This museum has a few miles of track, on the original route that closed about 50 years ago. I don't remember all the historical details perfectly. They collect and restore light rail trains and streetcars that are taken out of service (often bound for scrap yards, some 100 years old or so). I found myself reflecting on the old trolley system here, and public transit in general. Along the shoreline there used to be an interconnected system of public transit, and the residents who used it were working class. As the car took over and the middle class grew, the trolley systems were slowly phased out of service. This service, which engendered social equality, gave access to these wonderful waterfront villages, and allowed labourers to get to their jobs at various quarries, disappeared.
The removal of public transit from the area was a result/symptom of social inequality. Some of these New England towns can only be accessed by car and so became home to the very affluent. I'm grateful that I live in a city with stellar public transit, which I depended on for 10 years. Public transit is an important part of how I see natural movement.
Do you use public transit? Do you live in an area where the automobile pretty much meant the eradication of transit 50-100 years ago? Tell me about your story.
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