The Great American Transit Disaster: A Century of Austerity, Auto-Centric Planning, and White Flight

Product Details
University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.2 X 1.3 inches | 1.45 pounds

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About the Author
Nicholas Dagen Bloom is professor of urban policy and planning, and director of the Master of Urban Planning Program, at Hunter College. He is the author of numerous books, including How States Shaped Postwar America, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
"Bloom is a distinguished and prolific scholar of American urban politics. In this cogent and deeply researched book, he seeks to explain why leaders in cities such as Atlanta, Detroit, and Chicago chose to invest in highways and airways rather than mass transit. Bloom, wisely and perceptively, avoids discredited anti-bus and anti-streetcar ideas, focusing instead on pay-as-you-go transit, auto-centric planning, and white flight. Nick Bloom, as always, is readable, assignable, and compelling."--Mark H. Rose, coauthor of A Good Place to Do Business: The Politics of Downtown Renewal since 1945
"The Great American Transit Disaster presents a thoughtful and thorough history of public transit development in a number of major American cities. As in his previous books, Bloom makes a significant contribution to the history of twentieth-century urban America."-- "Jon C. Teaford, author of The American Suburb: The Basics"
"In this excellent socioeconomic history, Bloom offers a comprehensive and thought-provoking account of the rise and fall of US mass transit, skillfully assessing successes and stumbles so that we may learn from them and correct course."-- "Booklist"
"American transit agencies are standing on the brink of a devastating fiscal cliff. . . . Dire though the present situation is, this is hardly the first time that transit officials have been locked in a Sisyphean struggle to maintain service levels with shrinking funding and ridership. As Bloom, a professor of urban policy and planning at Hunter College, describes in his new book, The Great American Transit Disaster, US public transportation has lurched from one crisis to the next throughout the past century."-- "Bloomberg CityLab"
"Bloom makes a compelling case that Americans did this to themselves by demanding better streets for cars at the expense of transit, and favoring low-density, suburban living that makes cars indispensable and transit hard to justify. . . . The book's greatest strength is its hard look at how racism helped ruin US transit."-- "Newcity"