When people can afford to drive cars, they prefer to do so. The automobile is the one mode of transportation that will easily take you from where you are to where you want to go. And we all make use of it, every day.I agree - public transportation is "a relic of the past" we should stop subsidizing. Any lines which can cover their costs with fares and advertising are certainly welcome to continue serving the public.
So perhaps public transportation, whether by streetcar, bus or train, isn’t the wave of the future. Maybe it is a relic of the past, that is being sustained (barely) by massive infusions of billions of dollars in taxpayer money. That, anyway, is what history suggests.
As cruisers, the DrsC have used a form of subsidized public transport we think is just fine. On various Hawaiian islands (except Oahu), the local Walmart charters a free bus which transports people from the cruise ship to Walmart and back to the ship.
While some passengers take advantage of it, the main ridership is crew who go to Walmart to buy toiletries, toys for their kids back in the Philippines, off-duty clothes, cigarettes, candy, cell phones, laptops, etc. It's a good deal for the crew, and a big payday for Walmart - everybody benefits.
I can imagine Walmart stores in poorer sections of mainland cities doing this as a way of bringing in customers. I wonder if it's been tried?
Perhaps a big mall might fund buses to bring in customers. Ideally, you'd probably charge a quarter - a token amount enough to keep down joy riders.