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Old Posted Jan 14, 2022, 5:24 PM
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ardecila ardecila is offline
TL;DR
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 15,933
The worst laggards have got to be in the Midwest. Conservative state/county governments plus stagnant populations don't lead to much popular demand for transit. It also seems to correspond with how toxic the racial attitudes are - you need regional support from cities and suburbs alike to fund and operate a major transit system, but if the white suburbs hate the black inner-city then there won't be much progress on transit.

Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Cincinnati all failed to pass regional transit initiatives, but managed to build miniature streetcar lines because the core cities could build those on their own with Federal grants. Indy is a similar story, but there the core city is building BRT instead of streetcars. And since it's the state capital, the legislature keeps trying to kill it.

Cleveland has a legacy rail system that was modernized decades ago and now is crumbling. There is no money to replace railcars or rebuild/maintain track and infrastructure.

Columbus seems to have zero interest in regional transit, despite strong growth/gentrification in inner-city neighborhoods.

St Louis built 2 light rail lines, but lost its appetite for future expansions.

Chicago has an enormous legacy transit system, but it seems the best we can do is tread water rather than expanding the system or reworking it for 21st-century needs.

Only Minneapolis really has an aggressive transit expansion program, so they would be the clear leader in the Midwest... but it still doesn't compare to what LA, Denver, Seattle, or Dallas are doing. Or even Austin for that matter.
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