Comparing Washington DC And Los Angeles Rail Transit Histories

Ryan Reft at Tropics of Meta takes on the assignment:

[O]pposition to the construction of public transit elicits an array of motivations and responses. Two recent books shed light on the complicated nature of postwar rail/metro/subway construction: Ethan Elkind’s Railtown: The Fight for the Los Angeles Metro Rail and the Future of the City (2014) and Zachary Schrag’s The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro (2006). Despite the cities’ very obvious differences, the process of building mass transit rail in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. reveal numerous similarities, while also highlighting regional differences.

Race, class, and neighborhood opposition seem to be the dominant themes in the messy implementation of both systems. Worth reading in full.


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