I visited the New York Transit Museum, and I am trying to think of what I should have learned there that has applicability to markets.

1. I start with that much of the development of life goes from above ground to under ground, and what you don't see has enormous effects much greater than those above.

2. There's the fact that people don't like to go with fixed routes when they can travel in privacy directly by their own volition. And underground use was 8 million a day in 1930, but only 3.5 million today despite all the subsidies.

3. The private sector always does a better job than the public, especially when there's competition. In 1939, the city and state bought out the 2 private companies, the IRT and the BMT, that had been competing and innovating against each other.

4. There's the 60 year delay so far in rebuilding a line on the east side that is typical of public activities, even though it was promised when the elevated were taken down in that area.

5. Real estate prices and population always follow the subway routes, so it's always good to invest in where the subways will take you. In 1900 5 times as many people lived in the lower east side as the upper east side, but it was reversed when they built the IRT's that carrfied people up north. There is talk about ultimately getting the 3rd avenue line going again.

What other things do you see?


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