This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

Public Transit spending is more popular than health care reform:

More than four-in-five voters (82 percent) say that “the United States would benefit from an expanded and improved transportation system,” including modes of transportation like rail and buses. An overwhelming majority of voters agree with this statement — no matter where they live. Even in rural America, 79 percent of voters agreed with the statement, despite much lower use of public transportation compared to urban Americans.

Some in Washington believe that building or expanding more roads is the best way to tackle congestion — but the majority of Americans don’t agree with them. Three-in-five voters choose improving public transportation and making it easier to walk and bike over building more roads and expanding existing roads as the best strategies for tackling congestion. (59% to 38%).

One Reply to “Americans Love Transit”

  1. It’s a bit misleading to say transit is more popular than health care reform. The figures for reform were split between those who favored the bill in Congress, and those who thought it went nowhere near far enough. Taken together, those two groups in favor of reform pooled consistently in the 80s.

    It is fair to say, though, that this is another example of a crisis developing in our society. Strong majorities are consistently thwarted by special interest groups, which is bad enough in theory for a democracy, and even worse when there are actual problems that need to be solved.

    Health care narrowly won through, and hopefully this reform and refinements to come will keep health care from becoming a monster consuming a third of our economy, the projected outcome of doing nothing. Switching from roads to transit will be equally critical, and we’ve already seen the power of the road-building and suburban house-building lobbies in this state.

    What alarmed me, even more than the prospect of additional lobbying dollars, in the recent Supreme Court decision, was that the justices reached out beyond the matter that came before them, and seized the opportunity to overturn almost a hundred years of settled law. Taken together with the Bush decision of 2000, it’s an unsettling picture of a Court willing, and even determined, to overthrow the democratic process.

    Things could get worse before they get better.

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