Public policy observers who want to see Americans get out of their cars and onto mass transit trains claim that increased ridership is proof that such programs deserve more funding.  But according to Randal O’Toole of the Thoreau Institute, these advocates are simply rolling down the wrong tracks.  He notes that gains in transit ridership are tiny compared to increases in auto driving, with mass transit carrying at best only 4 percent of all passenger miles even in large cities.  When you also consider that Americans travel nearly 100 times more by auto than by transit, yet spend less than 4 times as much on highways as on buses and rail, it appears roads, not public transportation, is the place to lay down more bucks.

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