St Louis began a mass transit rail system about 10 years ago and was an immediate hit. The trains are always full and there is a train going by each rail station every 15 minutes. When there is a baseball game at the down-town St Louis Cardinals Bush statium (no relation to our president) there is a train every 5 minutes. And the city continues to expand the system every few years with the overwhelming taxpayer support.
And its inexpensive too. The last time I rode it I could go anywhere I wanted for only $1.50USD. The St Louis airport is about an hour's drive from my home. Now I just drive to the nearest station's free paring lot, about 10 minutes away, and take the train.
And environmentally safe I think (electric engines).
You are correct AD. Many American cities were developed around transportation with private cars. They will have the hardest time to switch to mass transit.
Another major problem with mass transit is a worker strike, as has happened in many cities and countries here and abroad. Downright criminal, and really cuts into your life style and income.
If lithium ion batteries ever succeed to overcome production problems with larger units, reliability and cost, they will be great for private electric cars. The present nickel hydride batteries used in hybrids are too heavy to run the car alone.