Cities: The End of the Line

When Financial Impresario O. Roy Chalk purchased the D.C. Transit System in 1956, streetcars still rumbled through the nation's capital, passengers sweltered or froze in antiquated buses and the books were in chaos. Chalk promised a new deal, then set about proving that he was as adept at running an essential public service into the ground as the man he bought it from, Wheeler-Dealer Louis Wolfson. Things did get better for a time before they got worse, but today Washington's transit system is a shambles, threatened with financial crisis, a crippling drivers' strike and Government takeover.

Chalk's problems stem from...

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