All Sustainability History Project Oral Histories


Dan McFarling

Streaming Media

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1 hour 24 minutes


Sustainability -- City planning -- Oregon, Transportation -- Railroads


Interview of Dan McFarling by Andrew Scanlan at Union Station, Portland, Oregon on December 1st, 2010.

The interview index is available for download.


Dan McFarling became the Director/VP of the Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates (AORTA) in 1977.


At the time of this interview, Dan McFarling, was a transit activist and the Director of the Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates (AORTA). McFarling discusses the efficiency of Portland’s Trimet system and the many problems surrounding the railroad systems in America. He also gives a detailed history about the different types of transportation and how they have changed, over time, as the needs of people have evolved. McFarling brings up the deficiency of roads and bridges, including some of the unsustainable costs associated with peak oil. He proposes the use of high-speed trains in America due to their efficient design and the dramatically lower fatality count than the modern vehicle. He also discusses the oil lobby’s exceptional political power in our country and credits it as being one of the main causes for maintaining the current road infrastructure.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

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