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Unformatted text preview: much less than using public transport — an
illusion created by the fact that the price of a new car did not include the price of building new roads. Lobbyists from the oil, tire, and
automobile industries, among others, had persuaded state and federal agencies to assume that fundamental expense. Had the big auto
companies been required to pay for the roads — in the same way that trolley companies had to lay and maintain track — the landscape of
the American West would look quite different today.
The automobile industry, however, was not content simply to reap the benefits of government-subsidized road construction. It was
determined to wipe out railway competition by whatever means necessary. In the late 1920s, General Motors secretly began to purchase
trolley systems throughout the United States, using a number of front corporations. Trolley systems in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Montgomery,
Alabama, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and El Paso, Texas, in Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles — more than one hundred
trolley systems in all — were purchased by GM and then completely dismantl...
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2014 for the course MGMT 120 taught by Professor Litt during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.
- Spring '08