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Urban Transportation

The big explosion of growth and increased ridership came at the turn of the century. The cause of this explosion was the electric streetcars that were installed in many cities. Whichever direction the rail lines were laid down and the streetcar moved, people began building their homes in that direction. The automobile was just getting its beginning and people were depending on public transportation to get them to work. As the streetcar's tracks expanded east and west, the city's population shifted that way as well. People did not need to be in walking distance of their workplace anymore, but in walking distance of the nearest pickup point of

the streetcars (Guathier 175). As streetcars increased their length of lines and service, the public increased their choices of residential locations. People with higher incomes were able to move out of the central part of cities and into outer areas (Guathier 174). This also fostered the concentration of different ethnic groups within separate neighborhoods (Guathier 175). This separation reversed the intermingling that had been taking place during the late 1800's between various economic groups and the different ethnic groups in the cities. Social stratification and sorting of different groups throughout the city was rapidly increased thanks to the streetcar spreading out the cities (Guathier 175). As cities spread out in the early 1900'
s, railroads developed interurban and suburban railroad to connect the outlying areas of the city. As the electric streetcars continued to move the people around the cities, the railroads opened up the first suburbs on the outlying areas. Large industrial industries were the first businesses to relocate around the peripheral area of the old city thanks to rail easing the transport of goods (Gauthier 175). Suburbs that were railroad dependent created a beads-on-a-string look. People still had to be close to the train station and small communities began developing around each station (Guathier 175).

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