Mass Transit

December 9, 2016 • Volume 26, Issue 43
Can public transportation adapt to the future?
By Chuck McCutcheon


To spark urban growth, local governments across the country are launching innovative mass transit operations (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
To spark urban growth, local governments across the country are launching innovative mass transit operations, such as Kansas City's 2.2-mile, $100 million streetcar line, which opened in May. The city is also experimenting with on-demand, Wi-Fi-equipped shuttle buses. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Public transit agencies are struggling to prepare for the future. As they try to adapt to changes in technology, demographics and urban development, the agencies must balance the transportation needs of young, car-shunning urbanites with those of people with low incomes or disabilities — all while finding money for long-overdue safety upgrades. The agencies also are starting to examine the potential of integrating self-driving vehicles into their fleets. Public-transportation advocates say partnerships with Uber and other ride-hailing companies popular with Millennials are a partial solution, and in some regions voters have approved measures to boost transit funding. But transportation agencies remain dependent on federal funding, and how much those agencies might get in a new Donald Trump administration remains unknown. President-elect Trump has vowed to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, including transit, but many congressional Republicans have been cool to mass transit in the past and may resist spending large sums for new transportation projects.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mass Transit
Dec. 09, 2016  Mass Transit
Jan. 18, 2008  Mass Transit Boom
Jun. 21, 1985  Mass Transit's Uncertain Future
Oct. 05, 1979  Mass Transit Revival
Oct. 17, 1975  Urban Mass Transit
Dec. 06, 1972  Free Mass Transit
Jul. 08, 1970  Urban Transit Crush
Apr. 24, 1963  Mass Transit vs. Private Cars
Mar. 11, 1959  Urban Transportation
Dec. 10, 1952  Sickness of Urban Transit
May 15, 1942  Local Transportation
Jun. 26, 1931  The Motor Bus in Local Transportation
Dec. 20, 1928  Regulation of Motor Bus Transportation
Consumer Behavior
Motor Traffic and Roads
Public Transportation