March 26, 2003

Defamation of Public Transit

Category: Transit

Vancouver: Okay, I know busses do collect a few strange characters from time to time, especially in smaller cities where only the poor tend to ride them, but nothing excuses GM for running this totally outrageous advertisement in the Georgia Straight recently.

General Motors, incidentally, was largely responsible for the demise of public transportation in Los Angeles through their lobbying efforts in the 1930s. Good public transportation (and I don't mean just stinky old busses) is not necessarily a threat to any car manufacturer. Germans actually own more cars per capita than the US*, but still use transit far more often. The publishers of this ad are obviously too ignorant to even think about working with, not against, this idea.

I'm particularly surprised this ad ran in Vancouver, generally heralded as a progressive city, in a country far less car obsessed than the United States. Shame on GM.

*according to The Economist

Posted by Nick at March 26, 2003 02:58 PM | TrackBack


Seems GM has pulled the ads, interesting article here:

Posted by: Nick on April 1, 2003 01:18 PM

That is hilarious!

Posted by: Perry de Havilland on April 6, 2003 11:54 AM

GM actually did far more than lobby in Los Angeles (and about 20 other mid-sized cities across the U.S., including Baltimore, MD). They went so far as to run an entire transit company, National City Lines, which went into the cities and bought out the local transit companies. Then, with the agreement of local officials (who were keen to begin reducing traffic congestion and saw streetcar removal as one way to do that), started ripping up streetcar lines and replacing them with GM buses.

Posted by: Aaron on July 6, 2003 05:39 PM

Germany may own more cars per capita, but there are now more cars than people in the US for the first time:

Besides, Germans are far more energy conscious than US drivers. I bet that the per captita pollution is massively lower there than in the US, part of a general "green" attitude. Even right-wing skinheads will seperate their bottles and plastics and recycle.

Posted by: andrew on September 2, 2003 10:58 PM
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