Why America Is Behind the Curve on Supporting Public Transit

At Metro McAllen, we are dedicated to making all of McAllen accessible to all residents. We are true advocates for expanding public transit in the U.S., not just to increase mobility but also to cut back on pollution.

Unfortunately, the U.S. as a whole often lags behind other nations when it comes to public transit systems and their effectiveness. Read on to learn how America compares to other countries and how we can start to make progress towards high-quality public transportation.

Where Do We Rank?

No matter what source you use, you won’t find any American cities on any list of the best locations for public transit. The same is true for lists ranking countries with the best public transit systems.

In the U.S., New York City is frequently listed as one of the top U.S. cities regarding its support of public transit. However, the system is also notorious for delays, inconsistency, and a lack of support. That lack of support is the key to America’s issues with providing exceptional public transportation services. 

Where the Problems Start: Disinterest

One of the biggest obstacles in the way of improving public transit is a lack of interest and support amongst local and federal lawmakers. In cities like NYC, the volume of traffic public transportation systems handle has ballooned in recent years. Unfortunately, funding hasn’t kept up with the increased need.

The lack of funding doesn’t just mean that the system in place won’t be as extensive, it also means that maintenance issues and updates are put off, sometimes for decades, as public transit officials struggle to get the assistance they need.

The lack of upkeep has actually resulted in falling numbers on public transit in many U.S. cities as commuters turn to bumper-to-bumper traffic rather than unreliable transit.

Making Progress: A Change of Heart

The first major change that we need to undergo in the U.S. in order to bring our public transit system up to standards is a change of view. For many Americans, public transit is seen as a form of welfare for those unable to afford their own car. Unfortunately, this view misses out on some of the biggest benefits of public transit, including decreasing greenhouse gasses and urban traffic.

As of fall 2020, nearly 80% of Americans get to work by driving than by any other means. Automobiles and the carbon they release account for the largest contribution to the country’s carbon footprint. Even in cities like Portland and Seattle, where public transit is receiving some support, the systems aren’t large enough to access everywhere that they should.

Catch a Ride in McAllen With McAllen Metro and Micro

You can do your part to support public transit in your area by contacting your local and federal lawmakers, and by taking the bus! Or, if catching a bus isn’t right for you, you can schedule a rideshare trip with Micro McAllen. We’ll pick you up and get you where you need to go.

Get where you need to go in McAllen, affordably. Catch a ride on a McAllen Metro bus or schedule your Micro ride today!

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