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Old Posted Feb 13, 2022, 4:57 PM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NYC/Polanco, DF
Posts: 27,428
I don't think Philly is "best designed" for transit. Philly is a rowhouse city, not an apartment city. You probably need an apartment city for extreme transit share, at least in the developed world. Philly doesn't have any extreme density peaks. Also, while Center City is big and important, it has nothing like the extreme job numbers in downtown DC and Chicago. The Philly region has pretty dispersed employment for a big, old, Eastern city.

Also, race/class is a huge factor in U.S. transit ridership. To be blunt, Philly had/has a lot of poor black people living in hoods, and I think many working class whites mass-abandoned transit in part to get away from interacting with those folks. And later generations, whether white, black, immigrant, whatever, still want to separate themselves from the poors. As with neighborhood flight, school flight, etc., once transit had a certain share of black riders back in the 1970's or whenever, there was a tipping point and whites abandoned transit. Somewhere like Boston or SF didn't have the same factors, really.
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