Piece really plays up way the Swift acted as a model for MARTA, BART, etc--2nd-gen regional metros. Not something I've thought about much.
In some ways, IMO, this was actually a net negative--hard to argue MARTA/BART/WMATA systems are the most efficient that could've been built.
Building massive infrastructure deep into the suburbs is, generally, a bad idea; the Swift works b/c it used existing infrastructure.
What the "Swift Model" did was prevent the US from thinking along the lines of the rest of the world: using mainline rail as rapid transit.
Right around the same time in Chicago, Ben Heineman's C&NW was experimenting w/one of the US' most advanced commuter rail systems.
They cut crews, pioneered push-pull, experimented with fare products, etc. But the two experiments didn't meet+think through commonalities.
It was an age of exuberance & free-flowing money, so instead of trying to use infrastructure efficiently, we got massive, overbuilt systems.
There's a place for 2nd-gen metro systems but we would've been better off if they'd been better coordinated with legacy infrastructure.
We can't just build our way out of every problem. We know that now but it hadn't quite dawned on people in the '60s.