Old Problems, New Challenges
Chapter 8: Public transit utilities
Public transportation in the United States, except for ferryboats and barges, only became necessary and broadly available with the growth of cities in the mid-nineteenth century. Prior to then, work was almost always within walking distance of people. However, as municipal concentrations such as Boston and Philadelphia grew and distances increased, horse-pulled stagecoaches, patterned after the coaches common in Great Britain, were introduced. Soon, similar carriages were introduced in other growing cities. By the 1830s, carriages traveling on iron rails had been introduced in New York City. The first common carrier steam-powered railroad, the Baltimore and Ohio, began operations in 1830. Substantial growth, however, had to wait until the end of the Civil War. Street railways, elevated lines and horse-drawn carriages were soon common. The era of horse-drawn public transit was curtailed in the 1870s when an epidemic killed thousands of horses—18,000 died in New York alone. In an effort to halt the spread of the disease, as well as reduce the pollution, city fathers sought other means of public transit. One new approach, cable-hauled street railways were first installed in San Francisco in 1873. A similar system followed in hilly Seattle, Washington and many others were installed around the country. In 1882, representatives from five U.S. cities met to form the country’s first Street Railway Association. By 1887, Chicago was operating 150 cable car trains daily. Urban transit was here to stay (APTA 2014a).Growth in public transportation began to grow at a faster pace after electrification...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.