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(Pacific Standard Magazine)   Americans are buying fewer cars, driving fewer miles, and buying less gas. But they still won't take public transportation   (psmag.com) divider line 171
    More: Weird, Americans, public transports, driver's licenses, American farmers, corn ethanol, gas, fuel efficiency, Federal Highway Administration  
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3158 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Nov 2013 at 3:40 PM (21 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-17 03:41:51 PM
YMMV depending on area

// traffic worse than ever

// still better than taking public transportation (which is almost completely a joke here).
 
2013-11-17 03:44:22 PM
Yeah, higher unemployment will do that.
 
2013-11-17 03:44:29 PM
Well no need to drive 50 miles to a mall to buy pants if you can just order them and UPS does the driving at less than the cost of the gas, right?
 
2013-11-17 03:45:35 PM
Because, around here at least, public transportation is too expensive and it takes too long.
 
2013-11-17 03:46:45 PM
I have no need to 'go' anywhere except work.  I can order everything online - and all of my entertainment is instant. (netflix, steam, amazon, etc)

Where I live, mass transportation is simply unthinkable.  Even if it were - I would only take if it I was poor.
 
2013-11-17 03:47:08 PM
Riding the bus is for low-wage earners and people of certain ethnicities.

Amirite?
 
2013-11-17 03:47:16 PM
To be fair most public transportation in the US is terrible, assuming it exists at all.
 
2013-11-17 03:47:32 PM
That's because the funds that get charged to you under various programs (gas tax, highway tolls, etc) mostly go to repairing and expanding the roadway system, and not improving public transportation systems with funds that would make them faster, more efficient, more diverse (in regards to where they operate), and a cheaper alternative to personal vehicle transportation.

If the funds and political will would go into building this...

blogs.kqed.org
...then we wouldn't have to be so willing to drop our pants for a TSA agent with a rubber glove fetish in order to make it across the country in short order.
 
2013-11-17 03:47:33 PM
Cheap energy fiesta is over. We're scrambling for low-quality sporadic sources here and there. Time to make new social arrangements.

First, get rid of the "everyone must work" notion, then the "you must go to university to work in an office".

This will happen anyways, but slowly.
 
2013-11-17 03:49:45 PM
Have decent public transportation and When I need a car, I have Zipcar. Doesn't make sense to have a car where I live. Parking is limited and the insurance for me would be too high.
 
2013-11-17 03:50:10 PM
Nobody uses public transportation, it's too crowded.
 
2013-11-17 03:50:50 PM
Public transportation is a joke in the US
 
2013-11-17 03:51:23 PM
3 reasons:

1) Because you can't take the Public out of Public Transportation.

2) Public Transportation unions are already too strong and will certainly exercise their power regardless of anything else.

3) Politicians
 
2013-11-17 03:51:31 PM
One of the reasons I'm happy I moved to Beantown is that public transportation is a definite option. As a result, we've reduced our yearly driving from around 15,000 miles to around 6,000, and that's mostly because I commute to New Hampshire twice a week.
 
2013-11-17 03:51:34 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Cheap energy fiesta is over. We're scrambling for low-quality sporadic sources here and there. Time to make new social arrangements.

First, get rid of the "everyone must work" notion, then the "you must go to university to work in an office".

This will happen anyways, but slowly.



So who is going to support those who do not work.
 
2013-11-17 03:51:38 PM
I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that only a handful of US cities actually have decent public transit systems to begin with.

/ Just moved from DC to Frankfurt, Germany
// Transit here is sooo much better
/// Fark Metro
 
2013-11-17 03:52:16 PM

DarkSoulNoHope: ...then we wouldn't have to be so willing to drop our pants for a TSA agent with a rubber glove fetish in order to make it across the country in short order.


oh you'll still have to drop your pants, don't you worry about that.
 
2013-11-17 03:53:28 PM

Farty McPooPants: 3 reasons:


images.encyclopediadramatica.es
 
2013-11-17 03:53:49 PM

DarkSoulNoHope: That's because the funds that get charged to you under various programs (gas tax, highway tolls, etc) mostly go to repairing and expanding the roadway system, and not improving public transportation systems with funds that would make them faster, more efficient, more diverse (in regards to where they operate), and a cheaper alternative to personal vehicle transportation.

If the funds and political will would go into building this...

[blogs.kqed.org image 850x549]
...then we wouldn't have to be so willing to drop our pants for a TSA agent with a rubber glove fetish in order to make it across the country in short order.


Oh geez, the high speed rail fanatics have shown up.

Don't you know that the TSA will be poking their finger up your ass as soon as someone threatens to bomb a high speed train in a populated area?  It'll be just as bad as the plane, only slower!
 
2013-11-17 03:53:54 PM
I drove under 5000 miles last year in my 18 year old car. I pretty much drive to work, the grocery store, and visit my parents once a month. I walk to a lot of the local stores and only use the bus to go from and to the mechanic when I'm having my inspection done.
 
2013-11-17 03:54:46 PM
Want to catch the flu or maybe drug-resistant tuberculosis?   Ride the CTA.

The routes that go anywhere near where I need to be, all shut down by 11PM, or earlier.   The buses in Chicago are the worst --  AC doesn't work in the summer, in the winter the heat either doesn't work or is stuck on full blast.   And don't even get me started on the crime.   Even in the "nicer" neighborhoods there are clusters of petty (and not-so-petty) crimes around the train stations.   First time I got shot at was just outside the brown line station at Lincoln square, which is otherwise a relatively safe yuppie part of town.
 
2013-11-17 03:55:27 PM

melewen: I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that only a handful of US cities actually have decent public transit systems to begin with.

/ Just moved from DC to Frankfurt, Germany
// Transit here is sooo much better
/// Fark Metro


Blue line for life!

/or until the red line kills me
 
2013-11-17 03:58:45 PM
Where I live (San Francisco) they're actively making it hard to own a car.  Eliminating parking spaces and increasing fines and permit fees.  It's to the point where if you don't make 100k/yr you can't really own a car.  Like NY only without lots of taxis or decent trains/buses.
 
2013-11-17 03:59:45 PM
I'd guess that it's more "public transport doesn't go where my job is" than anything else. I work in downtown Phoenix and live in Tempe (slightly southeast of Phoenix). Monday-Friday, there's a bus that stops 0.25 mile from my house and has another stop 2 blocks from work. My job offers subsidized bus passes, because they get a tax credit for that. As a result, I take the bus every day that I can do it. Driving to work would make me fill up the gas tank every week instead of every month, and make it so that I'd have to watch the road instead of reading a book for ~45 minutes every day.

Note that YMMV on all this, and not everybody is able to take the bus. I spent 8 years at my previous job driving ~12 miles to work in light traffic on freeways, which is a relatively easy commute by most standards. Taking the bus is better than that if you can make it work.

/Me taking the bus also led to meeting my most recent ex-GF, which was probably a good thing even though it didn't work out.
 
2013-11-17 04:01:52 PM
Fixed gear bikes, subby. You probably haven't heard of them. I've been riding one since before they were cool.
 
2013-11-17 04:02:36 PM

wax_on: Where I live (San Francisco) they're actively making it hard to own a car.  Eliminating parking spaces and increasing fines and permit fees.  It's to the point where if you don't make 100k/yr you can't really own a car.  Like NY only without lots of taxis or decent trains/buses.


good
 
2013-11-17 04:02:48 PM

wax_on: DarkSoulNoHope: That's because the funds that get charged to you under various programs (gas tax, highway tolls, etc) mostly go to repairing and expanding the roadway system, and not improving public transportation systems with funds that would make them faster, more efficient, more diverse (in regards to where they operate), and a cheaper alternative to personal vehicle transportation.

If the funds and political will would go into building this...

[blogs.kqed.org image 850x549]
...then we wouldn't have to be so willing to drop our pants for a TSA agent with a rubber glove fetish in order to make it across the country in short order.

Oh geez, the high speed rail fanatics have shown up.

Don't you know that the TSA will be poking their finger up your ass as soon as someone threatens to bomb a high speed train in a populated area?  It'll be just as bad as the plane, only slower!



cache.gawkerassets.com

Yes, but two years after the first high-speed train bombing, everyone will get their own Cylon.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-11-17 04:03:16 PM
Plenty of people take public transportation where there is good transportation.  Some places there is too much crime and other places don't have it at all.

In rural areas there are only school buses and maybe transport for senior citizens.
 
2013-11-17 04:03:50 PM
Is this the thread where we biatch about public transportation? If it is, I'm still pissed Dayton RTA made an RTA hub and removed most of the other stops downtown. Now instead of being able to sit on a bench with one or two people, you're in a giant stuffed crowd where you can feel people bumping into your pockets or backpack at any given moment. Incredibly unnerving, and it feels incredibly unsecured for an area with a large amount of people in it.
 
2013-11-17 04:04:27 PM
Non-food 'stuff' comes from Amazon Prime.  Entertainment comes down the tubes (not even the old drive to Blockbuster and can count my cinema visits in the last 20 years).  Fewer Americans are having kids for all the 'soccer mom' driving impetus, and many of those who do have kids are priced out of the ever-increasing cost of organized activities.  And, then there's the homogeneity of shopping.  30 years ago, the store 4 miles down the road might have something different than the store 2 miles down the road.  Now?  Kohls and Walmart repeat themselves every three miles, Walgreens every 5000 feet.  Even nominally different stores have the exact same stuff.  Why bother shopping further afield?
 
2013-11-17 04:04:53 PM

melewen: I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that only a handful of US cities actually have decent public transit systems to begin with.

/ Just moved from DC to Frankfurt, Germany
// Transit here is sooo much better
/// Fark Metro


Frankfurt must be pretty awesome then, because I think the DC metro is one of the better public transit options in the US.
 
2013-11-17 04:04:53 PM

ChicagoKev: Want to catch the flu or maybe drug-resistant tuberculosis?   Ride the CTA.

The routes that go anywhere near where I need to be, all shut down by 11PM, or earlier.   The buses in Chicago are the worst --  AC doesn't work in the summer, in the winter the heat either doesn't work or is stuck on full blast.   And don't even get me started on the crime.   Even in the "nicer" neighborhoods there are clusters of petty (and not-so-petty) crimes around the train stations.   First time I got shot at was just outside the brown line station at Lincoln square, which is otherwise a relatively safe yuppie part of town.


It must be terrible being so frightened of the world.
 
2013-11-17 04:05:17 PM
A lot of people in the US simply don't have access to decent public transport. Many of those who do have an image of it as "something ghetto people do, not me."

I use it every workday - either bus or train - and the public transport system here (Twin Cities) isn't even anything to brag about. But the "ghetto people" thing is simply untrue, at least here; all I see are other soulless automaton worker suburbanites going into the city to check off another day until they die. No gangstas or whatever the derp crowd on the internet seems to believe exists.
 
2013-11-17 04:05:29 PM
 
2013-11-17 04:05:58 PM
I honestly can't imagine why a city wouldn't invest in a decent public transport system.
 
2013-11-17 04:06:04 PM

Robin Hoodie: melewen: I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that only a handful of US cities actually have decent public transit systems to begin with.

/ Just moved from DC to Frankfurt, Germany
// Transit here is sooo much better
/// Fark Metro

Blue line for life!

/or until the red line kills me


I stopped taking the Red line to Takoma Station after I got ambushed by those Talon Company mercs. and damn near got squashed by that super mutant behemoth in a parking lot.
 
2013-11-17 04:06:59 PM

Robin Hoodie: Blue line for life!

/or until the red line kills me


I mostly rode Yellow. The delays weren't so bad unless they shut down sections completely.  Though, as has been said before, Metro really is the best advertisement for driving in the DC area.

/ Every time I get annoyed that the S-Bahn is 5 minutes late, I remind myself that I regularly had 20-30 minute headways on Metro.
// Fark Metro -- can't be said enough.
/// Slashies
 
2013-11-17 04:07:11 PM

menschenfresser: A lot of people in the US simply don't have access to decent public transport. Many of those who do have an image of it as "something ghetto people do, not me."


dailygumboot.ca

Like this?
 
2013-11-17 04:07:47 PM
I can drive and get to work in 10 minutes.

Or I can take public transportation and be there in 90.

Till you can fix that disconnect, I'm not riding the bus.
 
2013-11-17 04:08:10 PM

DarkSoulNoHope: That's because the funds that get charged to you under various programs (gas tax, highway tolls, etc) mostly go to repairing and expanding the roadway system, and not improving public transportation systems with funds that would make them faster, more efficient, more diverse (in regards to where they operate), and a cheaper alternative to personal vehicle transportation.

If the funds and political will would go into building this...

[blogs.kqed.org image 850x549]
...then we wouldn't have to be so willing to drop our pants for a TSA agent with a rubber glove fetish in order to make it across the country in short order.


I take the bus all the time to get to work. I also use urban light rail, and occasionally take Amtrak.

High speed rail won't solve urban traffic jams, won't solve the TSA issue, and won't make travel any less costly or time consuming for most people.

Just look at the map and think for a minute. Anyone in the SF Bay Area has to go down to Los Angeles to hook up with a train to go to New York. If they're headed to DC, then it's yet another connection.

/funny how the Obamarail's most significant hub is in Chicago, ain't it?
 
2013-11-17 04:08:48 PM
Public transit is a definite option in some cities, but just not enough of them. They all need to be like NYC, which is like London, Paris, and Singapore in that it goes all over the place and is affordable.

Meanwhile, Phoenix's laughable attempt is a light rail system that connects the airport to some random downtown area, but not even somewhere useful like Mill St (ASU), or Old Town Scottsdale.

And the bus always sucks.
 
2013-11-17 04:08:50 PM

MNguy: I honestly can't imagine why a city wouldn't invest in a decent public transport system.


because the council member's own the parking garages.
 
2013-11-17 04:09:22 PM
Public transportation is often bad or non-existent in many parts of the US.

Lane Transit District does a good job of covering the Eugene/Springfield area plus they have buses that go to other towns in Lane County like Veneta, Coburg & Junction City. Of course with the latter there are often only 2-3 bus runs to those areas during the week with no service on the weekends.

Even then it can take quite awhile to get to work on the bus. At a previous job I had it took three buses to get to work with another three for the return trip since I lived in a semi-rural area. I usually caught the first bus around 6:30 a.m.

Last job required only one bus to get to work, but I didn't live terribly far from downtown Eugene.
 
2013-11-17 04:09:53 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: ...

First, get rid of the "everyone must work" notion, then the "you must go to university to work in an office".

This will happen anyways, but slowly.


I am currently earning a second degree after 20 years of watching my first one become obsolete. Seeing the education level of the 18/19 year old students that actually were accepted to college, It's not surprising you need a degree for an office job. The English classes alone would have made me laugh if it weren't so sad. Everything in the standard college entry level class is what I learned in high school at a standard level barely 24 years ago.

and... What exactly do do you mean by 'get rid of the "everyone must work" notion'? Do you mean, only some work and everyone else gets money handed to them? Yea... might want to rethink that.
 
2013-11-17 04:11:13 PM
Unless the rules were changed that to become a politician you must give up your chauffeur-driven limo and your personal  vehicle and depend upon public transportation to go to your cushy office or that nice, comfortable legislature.
Then you'll see some changes.
Pampered politicians are probably the source of all our problems.
 
2013-11-17 04:12:04 PM

Do you know who Garblox is: Frankfurt must be pretty awesome then, because I think the DC metro is one of the better public transit options in the US.


It's not perfect, but I've never waited more than 10 minutes for a train. The suburban trains have longer headways, but pretty much keep to their posted schedules. The underground trains have shorter waits so it's usually around a 5 minute wait. In DC, I'd sometimes wait 20-30 minutes.  And that's when there were no service disruptions.
 
2013-11-17 04:12:08 PM

Gig103: Public transit is a definite option in some cities, but just not enough of them. They all need to be like NYC, which is like London, Paris, Bangkok, Beijing, Mexico City, Bogota, Lima, Prague, Budapest in that it goes all over the place and is affordable.

 
2013-11-17 04:12:35 PM

MNguy: I honestly can't imagine why a city wouldn't invest in a decent public transport system.


In the case of my mid-size town, the city puts $1.5 million and the feds put $1.5 million a year into a bus system that provides under 700,000 rides a year.  In other words, if we subsidized taxi rides by $4/ride we'd save money and have 24-hour door-to-door service (not a fixed-route service that runs fewer than half the hours of the year).

/ having lived in a couple cities where it was common to use them, good taxi services are highly underrated
 
2013-11-17 04:13:06 PM

legion_of_doo: /funny how the Obamarail's most significant hub is in Chicago, ain't it?


Yeah, I mean, why would anyone want to route a rail line through one of the busiest traffic hubs on the planet. You'd think the place was home to the O'Hare airport or something.
 
2013-11-17 04:14:36 PM

legion_of_doo: /funny how the Obamarail's most significant hub is in Chicago, ain't it?


You mean the largest city close to the geographic center of the nation, with a history of being a rail nexus, livestock processing center, Great Lakes shipping port and transportation hub?

Yup, real funny.
 
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