Why is the U.S. unwilling to pay for good public transportation?

Source: John Rennie Short, The Conversation, April 1, 2016

… The quality of a country’s infrastructure is directly linked to its competitiveness because it makes businesses more productive and improves the quality of life. Why has the U.S. let its public transit slip so far?….
At least four reasons can be cited for the decline in the quality of urban public transportation:
– The first is the early and continuing embrace of the private car as a form of urban transport. …. Over time, Republican-dominated suburbs came to see mass transit as a special Democratic interest and voted accordingly. ….
– Second, as cities were designed to meet the needs of the motorist, mass transit systems that had been owned by private companies were abandoned or effectively dismantled in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s because they were losing money. ….
– The third reason is that all infrastructure ages and needs costly maintenance and continual improvement, yet funding is often constrained. ….
– Fourth, there is a deeper tension in the U.S., first noted by economist Kenneth Galbraith, between private affluence and public squalor. …. This thinking has made our cities less about shared experiences and more a place of different lives and separated spaces. ….