Thanks for the link, Matt. You know, as someone who spends a lot of time studying transit, I’m often surprised that there isn’t more interest in the subject from liberal writers (though there are exceptions–Matt is one, Ben Adler another). There is, I believe, a very strong progressive case to be made for mass transit. I imagine that part of the problem is that while residents of cities with good transit systems understand how popular and helpful those systems are, residents of other places–that is, most of the country–still view transit as a bit utopian and inherently unworkable given population densities. Ezra Klein, I’ve often thought, should be all over this, but Ezra Klein is from Southern California.
Interestingly, future growth in support for transit may derive more from business communities than from progressives, given the way in which a well-used transit system increases the value of the land around it. Washington, DC’s metro system has been dubbed the Great Society Subway due to its roots in Johnson-era liberalism. That very subway system is now facilitating massive redevelopment and investment in the District, helping a lot of people earn a lot of money.
Update: Avent gets results! Ezra generously comments on the above.