Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile
by Taras Grescoe
HE 4211 .G74 2012
“Public transportation in America is often seen as a squalid last resort for those with one too many drunk-driving charges, too poor to afford insurance, or too decrepit to get behind the wheel of a car. Indeed, a century of auto-oriented culture and bad city planning has left most of the country with transit that is underfunded, ill maintained, and ill conceived. But as rising oil prices portend the end of the era of cheap energy, a remarkable revolution in transportation is under way.
In this timely and persuasive book, Grescoe joins the ranks of the world’s straphangers – the growing number of people who rely on public transport to go about the business of their daily lives. On a journey that takes him to New York, Moscow, Paris, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Bogotá, Phoenix, Portland, Vancouver, and Philadelphia, Grescoe gets the inside story on the world’s great transit systems, going beneath the streets to see subway tunnels being dug, boarding state-of-the-art streetcars, and hopping on high-speed trains, along the way uncovering new ideas that will help undo the damage a century of car-centric planning has done to our cities. With a compelling mix of solid historical research and up-to-the-minute reportage, Straphanger envisions a future with convenient, affordable, and sustainable urban transportation – and better city living – for all.” – publisher description