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> Why is Australian public transit so much better than American public transit?

I would guess it's because Australia is, like, 99% uninhabited and uninhabitable or borderline uninhabitable[1], which probably means they can focus resources almost exclusively on the few densely populated areas. Additionally Australia's urban population seems to be significantly higher than America's (~89% vs ~80% according to 5 seconds of Googling I just did) so there's probably greater political will for investing in urban areas, and that political will probably also isn't resisted/sabotaged by an electoral system that grants hugely disproportionate representation to non-urban areas that have little to gain from realistic/economically sensible investments in public transportation.

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/MapPorn/comments/8ehplw/australian_...

so USA has poorer public transport than Europe because the latter has much more uniform population distribution; USA also has poorer public transport than Australia because the latter has much more skewed population distribution.

american exceptionalism at its finest. :)

Public transit matters where people live. Australia, quite clearly, can more easily focus on good transportation in the small percentage of its land mass where people live.

My state, about the same land area as France has a population density of 39/sq-km, right at the median value for the states. France has density of 122/sq-km. Population density is lower here, where people actually live, than in many locations in Europe or Australia. This may, in part, explain public transportation issues in the USA.

If you want to hold America to the same standard as Australia, try finding public transportation between Sydney and Adelaide, Alice Springs, or Darwin. (There isn't any.) In the US you at least can take Amtrak to cross those kinds of distances (even if it's cheaper and faster by orders of magnitude to just take a plane instead). It's fine to point out that America's public transportation is severely lacking (which it very obviously is), but being dismissive and reductive of the pertinent facts and realities isn't a good look, and it isn't helpful to public discourse.

It's the Goldilocks syndrome. Population density has to be juuuust right to result in American transit. It couldn't possibly be due to any other factors.........

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