It's a good read.. but in a nutshell, they tried to get rich by having a World's Fair. They didn't realize that the new craze, the car, and ingenuity of everyguy Joe to make a buck, would combine to steal away 8 million nickel fares from the street cars that were supposed to recoup the costs of building the venues, trains, and city improvements.
Is this possibly the reason that cities won't allow anyone to buy a cheap Taxi token? Here in San Diego a token (on the rare occasion that the tight fists of city hall can be pried open) will cost about $200,000. If we could all charge a bit over the bus fare, and stop to pick up anyone at a bus stop, the buses would be out of business in a hurry. No more mass transportation income for the cities. Perhaps the income of buses, trains, trolleys, etc is the reason that cities keep trying to advertise the limited benefit of mass transportation.. when the local govt types are riding in new, free, suv's and luxury cars... and letting the taxpayers cover the costs... like fuel.