Taken for a Ride

Question

This will be another reaction paper based on the attached video

Name of the video: “ Taken for a ride”

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Answer

Taken for a Ride

            The documentary Taken for a Ride was produced in 1996. It reveals the workings of General Motors in order to change the U.S. public transport system by bringing about a transition from the rail system to the use of motorized vehicles. From its analysis, one notices that the shift in obsession from the electric trains to motorized vehicles has created a lot of changes in the United States public transport system. In the past, reliance on trains or streetcars for transportation called for a well-established rail system. The streetcars would arrive at particular stages at definite times to transport people. Consequently, they would get to their places of work and back to their homes in time. The overreliance on the motorized system as a dominant form of public transportation united States has resulted in various changes particularly in terms of urban planning.

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            In terms of roads, it is evident that city planners have been forced to redesign roads in order to accommodate the large number of traffic that is nowadays a characteristic of major cities across the country. Most town are characterized by extensive highways that connect different metropolitan areas. For example, in Los Angeles, increased traffic has necessitated the redesigning of the roads to create a freeway system that serves the major parts of the city. The freeways are massive structures aimed at reducing huge traffic jams that are a dominant feature of American highways. The freeways branch off just after the center of the metropolis. One, therefore, has to be watchful to avoid missing crucial freeway turns. Missing aturn would mean that someone has to drive for several miles before he/she can get back to the right highway so he could end up in the desired destination.

            According to Taken for a Ride, the shift from electric trains to motorized vehicles is the greatest assault of the US public transportation system. This is because it has necessitated the creation of freeways that require complex designing as well as architectural work. Besides, unlike the railway systems, they consume a lot of space.However, motorized systems are prone to traffic jams because of the continued investment in small cars by most of theUS populationseeking to enjoy private rides as opposed to the congested public buses. People have shifted to their own modes of motorized transport hence resulting into a lot of cars being on the road. This is in contrast to the rail-system era that accommodated ninety percent of the total population in the towns without causing congestions or delays.

            From my assessment, the current plan cannot comfortably accommodate the increasing number of vehicles that use America roads today. Therefore, it is common for people to get stuck in traffic resulting in delays both when going to work andon their way back home. People have to leave their homesearly in the morning in order to beat the traffic and reach their workplaces within on time. In the evening, they arrive home late due to the increased number of vehicles on the road. Thus, the new transport system has resulted in immense wastageof time and resources.

            In conclusion, the shift from the electric train system to a motorized system of public transport was a big mistake. It has resulted in much congestion in public transport system. Embracing an electric rail system in highly populous cities is the most effective way of addressing the traffic congestion problem. However, Americans have become so much used to the current transport systemthat it is extremely difficult to revert to the traditional rail system.

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