The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal

Informed but opinionated commentary and analysis on urban transportation topics from the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Our Mission: Monkeywrench the Anti-Transit Forces

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Monday, January 13, 2003

"McPaper" is Worse than Transit "McExpert" Wendell Cox

"It is the unfortunate destiny of the ridiculous to be subject to ridicule."
James Howard Kunstler

"Truth passes through three phases: 1) It is ridiculed. 2) It is violently opposed. 3) It is accepted as self-evident." Albert Schopenhouer. In the United States, rail is currently passing through Phase Two.

From the Cabalmaster:

The Tuesday, January 7, 2003 issue of USA Today contains an article entitled "Blue Line takes a troubled route." The sub-heading was "Light-rail system in Los Angeles has the nation's worst record of deaths, injuries."

This article is absolute proof that many alleged “journalists” are even less qualified to pontificate on transportation issues than Wendell Cox. It is a textbook example of yellow journalism, starting off the article with something to shock the public, and then adding information later that contradicts or diminishes the shocking headline. We Cabalists can only wonder what proportion of “McPaper” readers will read the entire article, as opposed to remembering only the headline. Given the misleading nature of this article, the more conspiratorial among us would think that Wendell Cox, the LRT “McExpert” (as McDonalds is to real food), must have some insider connection to the reporters who write articles on rail transit. Cox’s two comments in the article don't provide any information about the relative safety of light rail versus other modes; they only reinforce his perception that light rail in ineffective and a waste of money.

For the record, despite the negative headline, the statistics cited in the article show that light rail is significantly safer than buses overall, and only slightly more accident-prone than fully-grade separated heavy rail lines (If you disagree, argue with Federal Transit Administration statistics, not the Cabalists).

Thanks to a “Friend of the Cabal” for this bad-tasting item.

The article is located here.

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