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What Elon Musk Doesn't Get About Urban Transit

The Tesla CEO’s recent comments about public transportation triggered a firestorm of criticism. Here’s why.
Tesla's Elon Musk: Not a mass transit fan.
Tesla's Elon Musk: Not a mass transit fan. Richard Drew/AP

Like many tech entrepreneurs, Elon Musk is trying to reinvent public transit. But his comments at an event last month, as reported by Aarian Marshall in Wired, made many people wonder whether he understands the business he’s trying to disrupt:

These comments ignited a firestorm of criticism from transit advocates (myself included), and some thin-skinned replies from Musk. Urban planning guru Brent Toderian quickly created the hashtag #GreatThingsThatHappenedOnTransit, which is now gathering testimonials from people around the world about wonderful encounters they’d had with “a bunch of random strangers” on buses and trains.