Annotated Response to “Antiplanner” Post: No. 50. Lessons from an Iconoclast

By Michael D. Setty & Leroy W. Demery, Jr.

Note: This article responds to Randal O’Toole’s April 17, 2020 post on his “Antiplanner” blog. We believe this requires a detailed response since O’Toole is outlining lessons he says he has learned in his past four decades as a public intellectual. We find that some of O’Toole’s assertions are valid, but most are not.

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Why Public Transit?

Anti-Transit Arguments Are Mostly Rhetoric, Lacking Facts

Over the years, we have grown weary of the many rhetorical, generally fact-free arguments against transit. These include the ubiquitous “You’ll never get people out of their cars,” “People won’t ride transit,” or a favorite of rail transit opponents, “There isn’t enough patronage potential to justify rail.” Such arguments are almost exclusively rhetorical in nature, lacking specific facts and examples.

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