Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

Let's get flexible

Ted Balaker
March 7, 2005, 4:50pm

Bus transit is flexible; it can evolve as a community evolves. It's easy to open new bus stops and create new routes. That's good if you're interested in accommodating customers' preferences, not so good if you're interested in simply giving customers what you think they should prefer. Enter rail transit. It may seem strange, but many planners like it precisely because it's inflexible. You can build it to serve areas with high employment concentrations, and since it offers a feeling of permanence, the hope is that future growth will cluster around the line. But there is, of course, no guarantee that growth with cluster around rail lines. There's not even any guarantee that rail lines will prevent existing development from leaving.

Ted Balaker is Producer

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