Pinning good transit to a metro population level seems like a good idea to me. In India, regions of 1M or more population will now be eligible for 50% federal funding for a metro system if the locals paid the other half. Here in the United States, regions are lucky to get 50% funding for one commuter or light rail line. I think we should go even lower. A region of 750,000 or more should start construction so by the time that other 250,000 moved in they would have options as to where to live along the newly constructed lines.
Imagine if we had metro subways in all of our metro areas over 1 million people as a base for greater transit improvements. Considering between 1990 and 2005 about 45% of new transit trips were made on metro subway systems, it stands to reason that the construction of these networks connecting the major employment and population centers in a regions core will dramatically increase transit ridership. Look what has happened in Washington DC over the last 40 years or so. That is something we should emulate and India gives us a view into how to do it. Where's that type of vision for America?