I just read a really interesting article by Danya Sherman on how long distance trains in the US are effective public spaces. She details many ways in which the trains function to bring disparate communities together, foster an interest and connection to place, and encourages interaction.
It was a wonderful article that I really enjoyed reading, but I always wonder whether these places that require money to access are truly public. Sherman address this briefly, mentioning how these public spaces aren’t being experienced by the vast majority of people, citing lower costs and an increased network in order to encourage ridership.
Finally, can I just say how awesome it is that Sherman got a travel grant to ride the train for 30 days!