Archive for August 2016

Ticket to Change

While there are many forms of commuting today, it all started with the railroad.

As the first railroads expanded out from the cities, people quickly saw the advantage of traveling this faster and more reliable form of transportation for their business trip into the city from the outlying communities. It was a New Jersey man, Judge F.S. Lathrup, whom in 1841 first asked the fledgling Lackawanna predecessor Morris and Essex Railroad for a ticket good for a fixed duration over a specific route in exchange for a reduced fare. The railroad decided to offer Judge Lathrop a commutated ticket for his daily journey from Morristown to Newark and with the foresight to see a steady business, soon offered these reduced price fares as a regular ticket. These commuters, as the ticket holders came to be called, started a cultural and economic shift that transformed our relationship between where we live and work. No longer were we tied to proximity for job opportunities or livability and the railroads who started this shift, encouraged it through heavy promotion.