May 1999

GM & the Streetcar--

‘American Ground Transport’*

Reprinted by
permission from
The Third Rail,
September 1974

Street Railways:
‘U.S. vs. National City Lines’ Recalled

by Paul Matus

     NO FORCE CAPTURED and guided the American imagination in the Twentieth Century so powerfully as the concept of “progress.” 
    “Progress” implied the steady and natural advance of a nation moving forward toward a future goal, even as our predecessors in the last century pursued “manifest destiny” until our national borders stretched from ocean to ocean. This same “progress” demanded that we put aside all which the forces of change decreed as “obsolete’‘—and that we never look back.
     The story of America’s transportation evolution in the automotive age illustrates, as no other area of our national experience, the meaning of “progress.” At the turn of the century, America had a massive complex of public transportation . . .

Continued on page 2







Copyright © 1974 by Third Rail Press, © 1999 by The Composing Stack Inc.
Reprinted by permission. Not responsible for typographical errors.

*Quotations in this article are taken from “AMERICAN GROUND TRANSPORT, A Proposal for Restructuring the Automobile, Truck, Bus, and Rail Industries,” © 1973 by Bradford C. Snell. Excerpts used by permission of the author.

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