The United States is falling behind most industrialized countries when it comes to public transit. With similar cultural and economic demographics, Canada has significantly more public transit, says Jarret Walker a transit consultant.

In other words, we pay more for transit and get far less – basically the worst of all worlds.

Built with the car in mind, most cities in America were built around the car, unlike grid like cities such as New York City and Chicago. Cities expanded but without any corresponding funding for public transit outside of the main cities.

One argument to the lack of public transit funding is that U.S. cities first saw funding for public transit as a welfare program for those that couldn’t afford to drive. That mentality hasn't changed. Funding for the operating costs of public transit systems is covered by fares, in contrast with other countries that find other means of covering the difference for operating costs.

To read about the history and solutions to America’s public transit system Read More.