ratpag’s Innovative New Way to Earn Money: Sue a Transit System


Before getting into this one, here are a couple links to the latest on our most recent causes.  First, the Long Island Rail Road strike is on, according to the Daily News.  And second, the White House just released a nice report on the positive economic impact of investing in transportation alongside a new site with maps and graphics titled “It’s Time to Rebuild America.”  ratpag agrees.  Check them out.  ratpag will be back later in the week with further news and analysis on this but first our innovative, easy way to earn some real money!

ratpag, your New Jersey correspondent has been on some hard times.  Northern New Jersey isn’t cheap.  Well, compared to New York City, it is cheap but compared to most of the rest of the country, it’s a joyless, money-sucking pit.  You heard it here first.  So your correspondent was kicking around some ideas – perhaps a trend piece about millennials riding bicycles or aviators taking the train – but those didn’t have that pizzazz that we’re all looking for in internet articles these days.  So here are three examples of reasons to STRIKE IT RICH!!! by suing a transit system:

1.  The transit system has startled you.  New York City’s MTA practically knocked a woman down a flight of stairs by startling her as she was ascending them.  That is an airtight lawsuit.  You might be shocked to find out that being startled by a transportation system is quite commonplace.  For example, imagine following the directions on your GPS and finding yourself on the railroad tracks – oops!  Lawsuit.  Or imagine driving along a highway in Arizona and finding a new type of signage telling you that you are going the wrong way.  Lawsuit!  Or – and this one is particularly disturbing – imagine the jolt you’d receive when you arrive at the transit center expecting to find a park – only to realize that there is no park!  Lawsuit.

2.  The transit system has made you anxious.  The more examples you have of a transit system, or society in general, wronging you the better in your fight for BIG BIG MONEY.  Congestion on the highways has caused a woman so much anxiety that she has resorted to to courts for an accommodation.  Lawsuit.  Anxiety can be caused by transit in a variety of ways and one of the most anxious things for me is the thought of an oil train exploding – and I don’t even live near a train!  Oil trains give us many reasons to be anxious.  And, to make use even more anxious, the oil shippers don’t even want us to know where they’re sending their trains.  Since when do oil companies withhold information from the public?!  Just thinking about oil trains makes me wonder if there might be a better way to ship the liquid.  Perhaps our friends in Canada have found a different method.

3.  The transit system is unfairly regulating you.  Sometimes when big corporations sue the transit system small, lower-level courts don’t work and the case goes all the way to the Supreme Court.  I’ve argued that someone with a background in transportation should have a seat on the Supreme Court but, alas, this case will be heard by nine justices totally unqualified to determine transportation policy.  To give the justices a tip:  Amtrak runs all over the country and is a very important part of our transportation network.  And, since the freight railroads are basically government-protected monopolies, they shouldn’t complain about a little regulation.  If the Supreme Court indulges the freight railroads now, freight railroads all over the country will start fighting against passenger service, just like CSX is going in Upstate New York.

So there you have it – now get out there and take that money that you deserve!

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