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Those Jitneys!

The advent of the automobile changed transportation for many Nebraskans. In larger
communities, even if you couldn't afford a car, you could buy a ride in a taxi, or "jitney." Not
everyone was impressed with these autos-for-hire. This writer in the Florence, Nebraska
Tattler found the new "jitneys" a decidedly inferior mode of public transportation.

"The jitneys do not haul passengers a distance of over ten miles for five cents, but the street
car company does.

"The jitneys do not give transfers, but the street car company does.

"The jitneys do not sprinkle the streets upon which they operate, but the street car company
does.

"The jitneys do not clear the snow off the streets upon which they operate, but the street car
company does, and the jitneys take advantage of the streets thus cleared by the street car
company.

"The jitneys are not, as a rule, driven by expert drivers, but the street cars are run by
experienced men who are taught to obey the rule of 'safety first.'

"The jitneys are not, as a rule, responsible for accidents, but the street car company is, and it
is frequently soaked to the limit, sometimes justly, but oftentimes unjustly.

"The jitneys do not make extensions into outlying districts to help improve residence
property, but the street car company does, and it does so at a loss for several years.

"The jitneys do not pay for any street paving, but the street car company pays for the paving
between its tracks, and lays down a mighty good pavement.

"The jitneys run only when they please, but the street car company is compelled to maintain
regular operation at all hours and in all sorts of weather.

"The jitney is a nuisance, but the street car company is not. The jitney is a parasite, but the
street car company is not.

"The jitney has never done anything to promote the public welfare, but the street car company
has done so in many ways."

 

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Last updated 14 September 2005

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