20090427

The Car Economy

"With cars, you can go where you want to go when you want to go. But they also have the most environmental impacts, the most social impacts and the greatest cost to our system - to park it, to enforce it, to run it, to import the oil. All of these things have severe impacts that we really just can't sustain anymore. The other modes have their limitations, too. As a pedestrian, you can only go so far. As a bicyclist you can go a little bit further, as a transit rider you can go furthest, but you can't go where you want to go all the time. There's got to be a way to link all these modes. When you add in car-sharing, bike-sharing and taxis, all of a sudden you have this menu of options that you can use, just like you would a car, without all the impacts."
-- Timothy Papandreou

"In the early 1920s when every US city of more than 5,000 residents had at least one streetcar line, households spent an average of just 3 percent of household income on transportation. Today families spend an average of 19 percent."
-- Privatizing The Cost Of Transportation

The anti rail crowd arguments don't stand up to scrutiny. Good public transit saves society and individual families money and it gets cheaper the more people use it. Cars, on the other hand, cost more the more they are used.