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Road against Rail

The Debate on Transport Policy in Belgium, 1920-1940

Donald Weber

When new motorized means of transport, such as buses, vans, and lorries, captured part of the transport market in Belgium in the interwar period, the rail companies engaged in a political fight to restrict the new modes of road transport. Attempts were made to introduce fiscal and administrative measures aimed at limiting road transport. This coincided with an intense debate on transport policy, both in the press and in parliament. The article focuses on the discourse driving this debate. It is argued that the positions taken were motivated by economic issues, but that there were underlying cultural motivations, different perceptions of what transport should represent in the lives of the users and the whole of society. The focus on the so-called coordination debate is widened beyond the conflict between trains and vans in the 1930s, to include the conflict between automobiles, buses, and trams in the 1920s.

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The Emergence of the Bus Industry

Dutch Transport Policy during the Interwar Years

Ruud Filarski

During the interwar period, the emergence of the bus industry presented many governments with a dilemma: should they intervene in the market to establish a level playing field for fair competition between the buses and rail transport, should they protect the loss-making railways or should they take a laissez-faire approach to the developments?

At first glance, promoting fair competition or, as it was called during those days, a "co-ordination policy" seems relatively simple. The government could impose conditions on the bus industry, which regulated safety, quality, services, and allocation of the infrastructure costs in a similar way as the railways. However, an analysis of the developments in The Netherlands reveals a number of obstacles that complicated policy implementation.

Therefore, this article focuses on two questions: how did bus transport develop in The Netherlands? And what obstacles made it so difficult for the Dutch government to implement fair competition?

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Dhan Zunino Singh

Porteño (1925), the magazine of the Anglo-Argentine Tramway Company (AATC), the largest tramway company of Buenos Aires. A cover advertising purses that showed a woman boarding the tram after leaving her daughter with a nanny, emphasizing the woman as a

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Race and the Micropolitics of Mobility

Mobile Autoethnography on a South African Bus Service

Bradley Rink

growth of public transportation in Cape Town from horse-drawn trams to the buses of today. 24 In both past and present, race is one of the principal signifiers of difference in South African mobile practice. While there was evidence of segregation in

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The ethnographic negative

Capturing the impress of boredom and inactivity

Bruce O’Neill

( Gătejel 2013 ). To move about the city, Romanians at that time relied almost exclusively on public transportation. Energy conservation policies, however, caused Bucharest’s extensive constellation of trams, trolley buses, and the Metro to run irregularly

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Gargi Gangopadhyay

and swarming crowds. 10 In the mind of the newcomer, trams and motorcars on tarmac roads, glittering shops, and multistoried buildings all registered as symbols of a completely different way of life. Calcutta left a deep impact on native city children

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A State of Force

The Repressive Policing of Contention in Queensland under Frederic Urquhart

Paul Bleakley

Brisbane tram drivers in January 1912 led to street marches in support of their reinstatement, the tram service executive Joseph Stillman Badger petitioned police commissioner Cahill to have “police turn their firearms upon the strikers”; after the strikers

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Challenging the Absurd?

Sartre’s Article on Kafka and the Fantastic

Jo Bogaerts

lundi, mardi, mercredi, jeudi, vendredi, samedi sur le même rythme’ [Get up, tram, four hours in the office or factory, meal, sleep, tram, four hours of work, eat, sleep, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, all to the same rhythm

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Motorcycling in 1980s Athens

Popularization, Representational Politics, and Social Identities

Panagiotis Zestanakis

Athenians had daily return journeys of around 50 kilometers between home and work. 6 There was comparatively limited rail or metro transport. From the beginning of the twentieth century, Athens had an extensive tram network, which stopped operating in the

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Murray Smith

‘articulated,’ two-section bus],” writes Berliner, “provides a realistic motivation for ornamental camera and character movement, an interesting visual effect that serves no obvious narrative function” (99). The snaking movements of the tram and the dance