The 50-Year Disaster of Government Trains, Buses, and Streetcars

The Foundation for Economic Education cites Marc Scribner's research on government spending on mass transit infrastructure. 

There, in a nutshell, you have a short history of mass transit in America. CEI's Marc Scribner explains,

Following decades of excessive local government fare regulation that led to a terminal decline in the private mass transit industry, government began taking over the responsibilities performed by now-bankrupt private mass transit companies following the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964.

Over the span of a decade, the mostly-private mass transit industry was replaced by government transit monopolies.

But government transit monopolies keep lobbying for more and more funding. They claim the real problem is that public transit systems haven't been expanded enough to draw more people into using them. Scribner calls this the Field of Dreams theory: "If you build it, they will come."

Read the full article at the Foundation for Economic Education.