Minding the Borderlands

Mark Koester (@markwkoester) on the art of travel and technology

Taken for a Ride (Documentary)

After living in Europe (in particular the beautifully organized transport system in Strasbourg, France) and traveling in places like Taiwan, I have to ask: Why Does America Have the Worst Public Transit in the Industrialized World, and the Most Freeways?

In Taken for a Ride, documentary filmmakers Jim Kleina and Martha Olson look at the history of how General Motors willfully dismantled the United States’ mass transit systems in the early 1940s (in order to promote people to buy more cars). They show how the highway lobby has increasingly put pressure on government to encourage highway construction and limit mass transit system. We see today that when everyone uses cars in places like Los Angeles, transportation clogs up. Clearly, it’s already too late to save the majority of these past public transportation infastructures, but maybe it’s possible to renew interest in public transportation in order to create cities for people to live in rather than cars.