Mass Transit : the future way of life
by François Pepin, eng.

Tramway 1940 Tramway 1950

In February 1974, Bradford Snell presented his report at the hearings before the subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly of the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate.

The report :


He stated that General Motors caused the demise of America's streetcar system and that without GM's interference streetcars would be alive and well today. GM may have conspired with Firestone, Mack Manufacturing, Standard Oil and Phillips Petroleum to sell more of their automotive products to transportation companies by replacing streetcars with economically inferior buses.

General Motors and its subsidiary, National City Lines, along with the other corporations were indicted on two counts under the Sherman Antitrust Act. They were charged with:

Conspiring to acquire control of a number of transit companies, forming a transportation monpoly;
Conspiring to monopolize sales of buses and supplies to companies owned by National City Lines.

The defendents were aquitted on the first count. General Motors was convicted on the second count: "to monopolize the sale of supplies used by the local transportation companies controlled by the City Lines defendants."

A myth was born. In 1988 the story formed part of the story in the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" In this telling, the evil character Doom reveals that he bought the Red Car system so that he could dismantle it to force people to drive on his new freeway. Another telling of this story was in a 1996 independent film titled "Taken For a Ride", which was shown on the PBS series "POV".

If you want to learn more about this conspiracy, here are some articles on the subject:

  • The StreetCar Conspiracy - How General Motors Deliberately Destroyed Public Transit by Bradford Snell
  • Kennedy, 60 minutes and Roger Rabbit : Theory Explanations of The Decline of Urban Mass Transit
  • GM and the Red Cars ( PS : Ce site a inspiré cette section )
  • Paving the Way for Buses - The Great GM Streetcar Conspiracy Part I - The Villains (Merci à Guy Span)
  • Paving the Way for Buses - The Great GM Streetcar Conspiracy Part II - The Plot Clots (Merci à Guy Span)
  • Excerpts from the Film "Taken for a Ride"
  • General Motors and the Demise of Streetcars
  • General Motors' Destruction of California Transit Systems
  • GM & the Streetcar-‘American Ground Transport’ - Street Railways:‘U.S. vs. National City Lines’ Recalled
  • Cleveland Electric Car,Cleveland, Ohio
  • Great American Streetcar Scandal on Wikipedia
  • What Did We Give Up With the Big Red Cars?
  • Who shudda shot the author of "American Ground Transport"
  • The Conspiracy Revisited
  • The Conspiracy Revisited Rebutted

  • Don't hesitate to e-mail your opinion on the subject.


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