By the 1920s, competition, battles over unification and fares, bad management, and the need to supply stockholders with profits were pushing the privately-held transit companies to the brink of receivership. The city tried and failed to get the support necessary to purchase the transit companies and make them public, but did win ordinances and regulations that would force the private companies to improve services.
The efforts seemed to be rewarded. Mass-transit ridership in the city (and around the country) reached an all-time high in 1926. Yet automobile purchases were on the rise, as more residents embraced the convenience of using their own car to get around the city.