Automobiles dominate transportation today in most American cities. After World War II, urban planners embraced highway transportation as the solution to urban congestion, while mass transit was shunned as outmoded and appropriate only for older, densely populated cities. Yet the prolonged energy crisis, beginning in 1973, shattered most previously held attitudes about the role of mass transit, and it was now promoted as central to energy efficiency and rational land use. If mass transit is now possible and even desirable in new, auto-oriented cities - Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Tokyo - why did it decline in the first place? In examining the historical conditions that led to the current crisis of urban transportation, the book offers an explanation of past urban and economic policy failures. The Decline of Transit will be essential reading for urban planners, politicians, economists, historians, and all others interested in the state of urban transportation today.