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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

Fun facts on subways.


CURWOOD: In January of 1863, London's Metropolitan, the world's first underground passenger railway, opened to the public. It wasn't util 1897 that Boston became home to the first US subway. Seven years after that New York City one-upped Boston and started operating what was to become the world's largest subway system. The New York City subway runs over more than 490 miles of track and carries 1.1 billion people every year. Despite a recent fare increase to $1.50 per trip, the system is a money-losing proposition. Each passenger trip costs the system $1.80. Americans must have a special place in their heart for subways. There are 15 US cities with underground railway systems, far more than any other nation. The newest major subway is under construction in Los Angeles. If all goes according to plan, by the time it is finished it will include more than 95 miles of rail, a third of that underground. And the fare? Right now it's a quarter. The bargain fare is an effort to coax Angelenos out of their cars.



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