Until 1964, most transit in America was private. In that year, Congress responded to a “commuter crisis” that was limited to commuter rail in just four urban areas by offering federal subsidies to every transit mode and public transit agency in the country, leading to the rapid buy-out of almost all private transit. Yet there are still many examples of private transit today.
Flickr photo by Sean Davis
One of the most important is New York Waterway, which offers ferry service between New Jersey and Manhattan. Ferry service had disappeared with the opening of bridges and tunnels, but congestion led the owner of a trucking company, Arthur Imperatore, to test a ferry operation in 1986. It quickly expanded to numerous routes and offers its passengers bus service from its Manhattan terminals to various parts of the city at no extra charge. Continue reading