Lack of public transportation in America

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like without a car? How would you get to school or work? Living in an area like Northwest Arkansas, that would be impossible. Around the world, people depend on public transportation every day. Public transportation is far cheaper than owning a car, and in some cases more convenient. In the United States however, that is not the reality.

The American public transportation system is a disgrace and in my opinion is the worst in the developed world. European countries and other developed nations like Canada, Australia, and Japan have extensive public transportation systems that allow their citizens to utilize the service in their everyday lives. Other than a few specific exceptions like New York, Chicago, or Boston, public transportation in the United States is deplorable and owning a car is necessary.

The automobile-dominated transportation structure of the country is a huge waste of money. reports that the average American would save around $10,000 a year if they took public transportation instead of driving every day. And public transportation can be more convenient as well. In cities like Los Angeles, commuters experienced 72 hours of traffic congestion a year according to a study by Forbes. Intercity the main intercity rail company in the country. Amtrak is not only extremely expensive, their service is severely limited.

Major cities like Phoenix, Nashville, and Las Vegas are without any Amtrak service. Some people may argue that the size of the country limits the availability for reliable public transportation. This is a terrible excuse. Look at Canada, which has a larger area than the United States. ViaRail, Canada’s main intercity rail company, provides cheap and reliable service in the major populated areas of the country.

I found round trip tickets from Toronto to Montréal for less than $100.  So obviously geographical concerns aren’t relevant. Russia and China are also enormous countries and their public transportation systems cover most of the area.

The automobile industry has a firm grip on transportation in the United States. When infrastructure improvements are being made, highways and roads always get priority over public transportation systems. Looking at Northwest Arkansas, public transportation is limited to Razorback Transit, which serves Fayetteville, and Ozark Regional Transit, which serves the rest of the area.

Razorback Transit is free and I believe is a good service for university students. ORT also provides a couple of routes in Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville, but service is still extremely limited. This is a problem across

countless American cities.

Similar sized areas near us like Tulsa, Fort Smith, or even Kansas City lack a major transportation system. Despite a small streetcar in Kansas City, none of these areas are served by any rail service. This makes most people who live in these areas car dependent. I think everyone should have fair access to public transportation in our area and the rest of the country, especially in larger cities. The car dependent culture of this country is disgusting and also contributes to unhealthy habits. Everyone drives everywhere and this eliminates potential walking or cycling. Something needs to change because in the public transportation world, America is behind.