Elon Musk Calls Transit Expert “An Idiot” and Says Public Transport “Sucks”

Seventyfive

[H]ard|Gawd
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The entire point of making more money is to deal with less strangers.

Personal car, no bus or subway
Larger house, farther neighbors
Business class or first class or private plane, less crammed in with plane passengers
Luxury vacation with private pools or bungalows, less crammed in with screaming kids at the hotel pool
More expensive restaurants, lower table counts
etc.... it goes on and on
 

gulguran

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The only public transport system that I've used that isn't a total shit show is in Japan.

Yep and a good amount of that is the decency of the riding public there. People are more decent there for some reason. At least in my experience you don't have areas like drug and crime infested places in brooklyn and queens for example.
 

nightfly

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The only public transport system that I've used that isn't a total shit show is in Japan.
And even there, during rush hour, it sucks.
lquj.jpg




Not if it's done well. When I go to NYC, I'm all about the subway.
Try it during rush hour.
Pretty much on point. The US systems could be much better.
they won't be. In America, it's all about making money. When put that way, the powers that be will continue to make mass transit service as crappy as possible without causing riots of commuters complaining.
Public transits in America do suck and is not safe.
Most are relatively safe during daylight hours.

And yet, they do often suck.
But they don't have to.
I've traveled the worst subways and the better trains (worst subways were the seventies in NYC; smelly, hot or freezing conditions, gang members on trains a frequent hazard), and the more recent Acela first class cars, which were absolutely wonderful (while not as fast as true high speed rail, they were so comfortable that it was a painless way to travel).
The Acela for example, which is the closest to high speed rail that we have in America. Yet, it only gets from NYC to Washington DC a whole 15 minutes faster than the regional crap commuter car train; two hours 45 vs three hours. The difference in quality of that ride, however is huge. Even on the Acela, you're packed in the business class cars and they are full, so smelly and/or annoying passengers are a frequent problem. First class, however, was terrific. But expensive.
Acela NYC to DC, all fares are weekday, one way in this example (weekend are cheaper by about 50% in many cases):
1st class $427
Business class, $295

'Regional local' or add on to one of the long distance Amtrak trains:
coach $152
Business class, $200 or $233
So you get what you paid for.

The only people who think mass transit is great, are those who don't have to use it, and certainly not during rush hour, when most DO have to use it. As the picture above shows, most people in Japan aren't using those wonderful beautiful Shinkansen high speed trains; they're using plain, old subway type train cars to get back and forth to work.
 
D

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Musk said that “public transport is painful. It sucks. Why do you want to get on something with a lot of other people, that doesn’t leave where you want it to leave, doesn’t start where you want it to start, doesn’t end where you want it to end?” Musk further said that using public transit meant rubbing shoulders with “like a bunch of random strangers, one of who might be a serial killer… that’s why people like individualized transport, that goes where you want, when you want.”

Isn't this the unwiped ass that wants to deliver "Hyper-loops" to us? Essentially, PUBLIC MASS TRANSIT?

I dub thee Janus...
 

/dev/null

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There are guys who are making twice as much as me who ride the Metra and/or the bus in Chicago on a daily basis. I'm about to clear 60K for the year. I have to drive everyday to my job. From an earnings standpoint, I'm pretty sure I'm the failure to them.

Metra is waaaay better than CTA :) That is in a different class...
 

/dev/null

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These are 2 of the common reasons people always trot out that it's supposedly impossible to get around by bike. Winter cycling is very possible, but even if everyone used cars all winter cities and their citizens would save massive amounts of money if more trips were taken by bike in other seasons.

A cargo bike can carry multiple kids and all their stuff. In fact, there are trailer setups that can put a pickup truck to shame! With proper infrastructure and depending on the city, you might even get the kids to school faster. Separated cycle tracks are also much safer than driving, as seen by the low numbers of fatalities in cities that take cycling seriously like Amsterdam and Copenhagen.


No one is suggesting that people can feasibly cycle the whole way for a 45 mile commute, but for relatively dense areas a train with a bike car can be just as quick as driving for trips like that. A car-only transit model might be the most sensible in Northern Illinois, don't know, I haven't been there. But the areas around major cities are badly in need of alternatives to driving and aren't getting them.

I just got my first bicycle & have already done several trips and have absolutely loved it. I've bicycled into Wisconsin from my house! The only really big issue is theh 60mph traffic that flows next to me on roads that are supposed to be 45. It's terrifying. These are NOT highways but local main roads. I think I stopped in October due to weather. I would never do this on my commute as It's simply too far (35 mi. each way) with no bike lanes.

As a new bicyclist, I love getting on the bike and going out & riding, but it's more terrifying than going out & getting on my motorcycle.
 
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Croatia71.jpg





Then Subway would of never been created.....
I'd like to know why this business is not being government mandated to provide ENGLISH and/or other languages on their signage and such. (unless it is there and I just can't see it because of size issues.)
 
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THIS. People gripe about government stuff failing but they set it up for failure. Privatized stuff is often even worse as they suck money out of it and have no oversight... so nothing works. 'Murica, yeah!

I think a large part of the problem is our current corporate overlords still want asses in seats. A substantial number of staff could work from home via VPN and not commute at all, which is the ideal scenario if you are trying to relieve congestion and go easier on the environment. Companies could reduce their office footprint a bunch as well; wonder why the government doesn't try forcing the issue.:rolleyes:
 

KarsusTG

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The last time I took public transportation was in San Diego. A bum passed out in our car, pissed himself, and we all got to see it run down the floor of the car as it took off.
 

Draax

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Remember when people focused more on the message rather than the tone? Ya, it was a better time wasn't it.
 

Khahhblaab

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The problem, of course, is the question "what's the alternative?

...telecommuting and an Amazon prime account.

Changes the recluse/loner - stays to himself personality type sometimes connected to anti-social behavior to a "he's current' and cares about the environment kind of guy.
 

SPARTAN VI

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Musk aint wrong, but serial killers are the least of my worries when it comes to public transportation. Way too exposed, too many police, and witnesses. Things I've experienced when riding the LA Metro on my daily commute for 6 months;

- Homeless urinating in the tram.
- Idiots blasting their shit music.
- Weekly - sometimes daily - potentially unlawful stops and searches by LAPD.
- Constant delays because of an idiot who got injured or killed themselves on the tracks.
- Guy propositioning my wife to suck her toes.

Yeah, no thanks public transportation. You tried, but as usual the worst part of it is other people.
 

Jarod888

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This is why no more money needs to be invested in public transportation. That money needs to be redirected in to gas and diesel vehicle production. Single occupant vehicle commuters for the win.
 

NeoNemesis

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Public transit is especially bad in Canada. A drive that would take 20 minutes by car takes upwards of 1.5 hours by transit and requires 3 bus changes. In Toronto, if you need to take the Go Train it can be considerably more expensive than driving.

In South Korea, transit was fine. Not perfect. But better than driving and dirt cheap.
 

Khahhblaab

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Even in the few cases where public transit makes sense, I don't use it for all the reasons Elon Musk stated.

.....if the topic is getting from one place to another we seem to be forgetting that personalized transportation is the worst......for safety. "Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled."

Nowhere near that many lives are in danger considering public transportation. By comparison, the chances of rubbing shoulders with a mass murderer are slight and getting his attention so that he forces you off the train to some shack where he has his way with you - usually a female, men need not apply - you will have a better chance complaining about rats or piss smells.

Me tinks dat we are forgetting that contrary to the appearance <mass> transit is a safe way to travel - for the masses. If you can afford door to door transportation, sometimes with a driver named jeeves, mass isnt for you. This is what is wrong with musks view. Not everyone can afford to park and drive in a big city, like NY where the subway is actually faster and cheaper - by far - if you consider that its also costs more to insure a vehicle in a big city.

But Musk is getting into that field also. Accidents goes down as cars get smarter. A truly self driving car would have the side effect of decreasing traffic accidents. 1.3 million deaths to only the ones caused by folks taking the wheel themselves. He is invested in self driving cars in addition to the boring company to drop off cars close to where they need to go. Gotta wait and see if he can get it all to work.

Far more difficult to make a underground thoroughfare with the same connectivity as streets aboveground. Possible? Gotta try first.
 

Khahhblaab

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Should you be a man, and over the age of 28, find yourself riding a bus, you may count yourself a failure. LOL

Seriously, public trans is terrible.

....I am seeing that these are opinion 's that are based on where the user lives. In NYC public trans is 24x7x365 and faster than the crowded streets many times. In Poughkeepsie, upstate NY public trans is 6am to 7pm (something like this) and sparse coverage. Not good, but serves a purpose until you get a car. Your quote pertains to the other NY, maybe. Parking a car in a garage in NYC daily for a year is more than likely the car payments and insurance of a car in the other NY. Gotta consider location.
 

TwistedAegis

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THIS. People gripe about government stuff failing but they set it up for failure. Privatized stuff is often even worse as they suck money out of it and have no oversight... so nothing works. 'Murica, yeah!

You want to run government like a business, but what kind of business could be run when one half of the company is always trying to sabotage the other half's ideas and initiatives?

I'd like to know why this business is not being government mandated to provide ENGLISH and/or other languages on their signage and such. (unless it is there and I just can't see it because of size issues.)

Why do you want big government to dictate individual businesses signage?
 

lcpiper

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The only public transport system that I've used that isn't a total shit show is in Japan.

I would add South Korea to the list.

And sucks for who?

Over 10 million people commute into and out of Seoul Korea every day and they sure as shit aren't all doing it by car. Most use the subway or the bus systems. Such systems aren't that great for the commuter, but for the city itself, they don't suck at all. There's no other way they could pull it off as it is right now.
 
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Messages
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Your cargo bike isn't heated and if you are dumb enough to bike 2 kids in an unheated trailer on the typical winter commute in Ontario you will be arrested for child endangerment. Your argument is the typical claptrap from someone who's never actually had to commute in a suburban landscape in winter. Your bike will not make it through the berms with a trailer either and I challenge you to try. I doubt you've ever seen real weather. In Winnipeg it gets cold enough that your skin is ruined after 5 minutes. Imagine that in your lungs. Comparisons to Amsterdam is idiotic; it covers 219.4 km^2; the GTA is 7,125 km^2, why can't any of you greens do math? It does not scale.
The things you are claiming to be impossible are things that people do all the time. You also must not have read my link because the winter myth is your post almost verbatim. One of the most bike friendly cities in North America with a high percentage of cyclists is Minneapolis, and they absolutely do have the kinds of winters you are describing. If you look at photos from the 1890's through the 1940's in places where no one can supposedly get around by bike, you will see lots of cyclists riding on good infrastructure. You can list all the reasons you personally prefer the car to cycling, that's your call and no one's telling you how to live. But when you try to claim that it's impossible and vote against improvements to cycling infrastructure, you're being gullible and voting against your own best interests. When you can't go the speed limit because there's a cyclist in front of you, that's because of bad infrastructure. When you're stuck in a horrible traffic jam and some of those people would have taken other means if they had the option, that's bad planning. When you pay a hidden tax on every gallon of milk, Christmas gift, and every item you buy because every business needs 4 times the amount of land to provide parking, that's your government selling you out to moneyed interests instead of representing you with sensible transportation. You benefit from the people around you having those transportation options whether you personally use them or not, and you pay a lot less for them than you would for Sisyphean road expansions that only lead to more congestion.

Btw, I never once mentioned any environmental reasons for cycling infrastructure in any of my posts, and my arguments have nothing to do with being green. It's all about the amount of space that's available in an area, and for cities there simply isn't enough space for everyone to drive and find parking. Why can't you do math?
 
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Why do you want big government to dictate individual businesses signage?

That was sarcasm. I am 100% against big gov. Speaking of government, all you guys claiming MORE money should be "invested" into PubTrans, where is the money coming from? Lemme guess, my taxes? How about raise the commuter rates of the people who choose to use it to pay for the services? I don't, and don't ever plan on using public transportation. So give me a good reason I should be compelled to pay for YOUR transportation. WALK, DRIVE or move. If enough of you do that, the public transportation issue will be solved. Less drain on it. Whatever you freeloading types wanna do, keep your hands out of my wallet.
 

nilepez

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And even there, during rush hour, it sucks.
lquj.jpg





Try it during rush hour.

I have and it's crowded, but I've never had a an issue

Acela first class cars, which were absolutely wonderful (while not as fast as true high speed rail, they were so comfortable that it was a painless way to travel).
The Acela for example, which is the closest to high speed rail that we have in America. Yet, it only gets from NYC to Washington DC a whole 15 minutes faster than the regional crap commuter car train; two hours 45 vs three hours. The difference in quality of that ride, however is huge. Even on the Acela, you're packed in the business class cars and they are full, so smelly and/or annoying passengers are a frequent problem. First class, however, was terrific. But expensive.
Acela NYC to DC, all fares are weekday, one way in this example (weekend are cheaper by about 50% in many cases):
1st class $427
Business class, $295

'Regional local' or add on to one of the long distance Amtrak trains:
coach $152
Business class, $200 or $233
So you get what you paid for.

The only people who think mass transit is great, are those who don't have to use it, and certainly not during rush hour, when most DO have to use it. As the picture above shows, most people in Japan aren't using those wonderful beautiful Shinkansen high speed trains; they're using plain, old subway type train cars to get back and forth to work.

I've done DC to penn 2x and the trains were never crowded and the price was about 50 bucks each way. I'd certainly rather take a train than drive. I believe one trip was on a weekend, but the other was mid week
 

nilepez

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The things you are claiming to be impossible are things that people do all the time. You also must not have read my link because the winter myth is your post almost verbatim. One of the most bike friendly cities in North America with a high percentage of cyclists is Minneapolis, and they absolutely do have the kinds of winters you are describing. If you look at photos from the 1890's through the 1940's in places where no one can supposedly get around by bike, you will see lots of cyclists riding on good infrastructure. You can list all the reasons you personally prefer the car to cycling, that's your call and no one's telling you how to live. But when you try to claim that it's impossible and vote against improvements to cycling infrastructure, you're being gullible and voting against your own best interests. When you can't go the speed limit because there's a cyclist in front of you, that's because of bad infrastructure. When you're stuck in a horrible traffic jam and some of those people would have taken other means if they had the option, that's bad planning. When you pay a hidden tax on every gallon of milk, Christmas gift, and every item you buy because every business needs 4 times the amount of land to provide parking, that's your government selling you out to moneyed interests instead of representing you with sensible transportation. You benefit from the people around you having those transportation options whether you personally use them or not, and you pay a lot less for them than you would for Sisyphean road expansions that only lead to more congestion.

Btw, I never once mentioned any environmental reasons for cycling infrastructure in any of my posts, and my arguments have nothing to do with being green. It's all about the amount of space that's available in an area, and for cities there simply isn't enough space for everyone to drive and find parking. Why can't you do math?
I think the biggest problem with bikes is infrastructure. it's bad for bikers and it's bad for people in cars. Nothing worse than a biker on a road gumming up traffic. Most of the time that's an infrastructure problem, though I lived in a place wher ethey had a good bike path and some bikers still road on the 45 MPH road because it was a bit more direct...it was bad anytime it happened, but they did it frequently during Rush hour and I felt they should have been ticketed.
 

krotch

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In most Europe cities public transport is great. On time, not crowded and takes you everywhere you want way faster than a car. It's US that's light years behind...

Really? What European city do you live in? Majority of European cities public transport blows. I live in the 4th largest German city (Stuttgart, Germany). Guess what blows? Public transport. It costs more, it's slow, and it's inconvenient, if you live in the city and are trying to go out. If you live out of the city and are trying to go in, it's still much the same, except you will have to deal with lack of parking if you're driving in.

The only time you really see ppl use the trains/buses is bad weather or the government tells you not to. Others will use it, due to possibly living close to a train/bus station, so it's not as inconvenient. I live on top of a train station and next to 4 bus stations. Literally, 10 second walk from my apt. It's more inconvenient. 10-15 minute drive to work or at least 30 minute train ride, bus ride, and a walk to work. It's also roughly a 10 euro round trip for that, which is more than my gas.

I can get a yearly pass for 2000 Euro, but that pass only works for the Stuttgart area. Useless outside of it.


Have you ever been to Europe? Of course people drive cars, but if you don't have one it's a none issue, you can get literally everywhere using public transport easily and a lot of people use it. Partly due to high gas prices, but often it's just more convenient, especially in bigger cities. Internet statistics are just that, statistics, they don't reflect real life very often.

No, you can't literally get everywhere using public transport. Get outside of a large city and the public transport is virtually non-existant or simply non-existant. It largely depends on which Euro country you live in.

Germany is pretty bad with public transportation outside of large metro cities, while places like England are pretty good about it, to a certain extent.

Maybe you should try living in Europe and find out how bad their public transportation is. Granted, it's leaps and bounds better than anything the US has to offer. It's still not all that great, compared to many places in Asia.

The only public transport system that I've used that isn't a total shit show is in Japan.

S.Korea is like Japan, but much cheaper. Trains are cheaper. Buses are cheaper. Taxis are cheaper. Also the trains are smoother, probably cause they don't have thousands of earthquakes each year, that shift the land minor amounts.
 

Koween

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In most Europe cities public transport is great. On time, not crowded and takes you everywhere you want way faster than a car. It's US that's light years behind...
What european cities are those? I'm from europe, maybe haven't been around that much, but I've visited Edinburgh, Rome, Oslo, Stockholm, some other places and myself come from an eastern european country and every time it's faster to use a car. The only time I've had a very enjoyable trip was a train ride to Oslo from the middle of Norway as the trip is actually shorter by train than by car, somewhere around 6hrs vs 8hrs. Trips I took in Rome were horrible - it's crowded, it stinks, the subways look like someting out of a scary movie.
When I drove cars in those same cities it was faster - the issue, usually, is expensive parking.
Public transport is for old people, children, and people who cba to drive themselves.
 
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The things you are claiming to be impossible are things that people do all the time. You also must not have read my link because the winter myth is your post almost verbatim. One of the most bike friendly cities in North America with a high percentage of cyclists is Minneapolis, and they absolutely do have the kinds of winters you are describing. If you look at photos from the 1890's through the 1940's in places where no one can supposedly get around by bike, you will see lots of cyclists riding on good infrastructure. You can list all the reasons you personally prefer the car to cycling, that's your call and no one's telling you how to live. But when you try to claim that it's impossible and vote against improvements to cycling infrastructure, you're being gullible and voting against your own best interests. When you can't go the speed limit because there's a cyclist in front of you, that's because of bad infrastructure. When you're stuck in a horrible traffic jam and some of those people would have taken other means if they had the option, that's bad planning. When you pay a hidden tax on every gallon of milk, Christmas gift, and every item you buy because every business needs 4 times the amount of land to provide parking, that's your government selling you out to moneyed interests instead of representing you with sensible transportation. You benefit from the people around you having those transportation options whether you personally use them or not, and you pay a lot less for them than you would for Sisyphean road expansions that only lead to more congestion.

Btw, I never once mentioned any environmental reasons for cycling infrastructure in any of my posts, and my arguments have nothing to do with being green. It's all about the amount of space that's available in an area, and for cities there simply isn't enough space for everyone to drive and find parking. Why can't you do math?

I appreciate the clarification of your argument, but bad infrastructure is what Canada is known for. There is no top-down planning; streets are the provenance of the municipality paying for them and there is simply no way what you propose would work. The best commute is the one not taken; that's remote access. Californian's usually lean left of Trotsky so I made a faulty assumption about you being an environmentalist, sorry. I still stand by my argument, however. Mass cycling is never going to happen.
 

TwistedAegis

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That was sarcasm. I am 100% against big gov. Speaking of government, all you guys claiming MORE money should be "invested" into PubTrans, where is the money coming from? Lemme guess, my taxes? How about raise the commuter rates of the people who choose to use it to pay for the services? I don't, and don't ever plan on using public transportation. So give me a good reason I should be compelled to pay for YOUR transportation. WALK, DRIVE or move. If enough of you do that, the public transportation issue will be solved. Less drain on it. Whatever you freeloading types wanna do, keep your hands out of my wallet.

See, this argument is always such a frustrating one. Cars and streets are subsidized way, way more than public transportation.

Federal spending on highways averages ~$50B a year; mass transit and rail around $12B.

State and local spending on highways also averages about $50B a year; mass transit and rail around $10B.
(Source: Congressional Budget Office)

So drivers like yourself suck up a minimum of $100B a year (which isn't even the replacement cost of the roads and bridges needed, look at the disrepair they're in) compared to $22B from mass transit. Further, individual automobiles pollute a hell of a lot more. Oh, and I feel like I remember the auto companies being bailed out not too long ago as well.

Americans spend more than $1 trillion personally on driving per year; if that much was spent on transit, I feel like it might get a bit more efficiency of scale and improvement...

So sure, there are valid arguments for each, but don't pretend that you're an anti-government, anti-tax person driving around in your car, it's quite the opposite. It's a method of transportation that has been so heavily subsidized since the '50s that, it being the status quo, people don't even see it (same with fossil fuels vs renewable).
 
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Messages
558
I think the biggest problem with bikes is infrastructure. it's bad for bikers and it's bad for people in cars. Nothing worse than a biker on a road gumming up traffic. Most of the time that's an infrastructure problem, though I lived in a place wher ethey had a good bike path and some bikers still road on the 45 MPH road because it was a bit more direct...it was bad anytime it happened, but they did it frequently during Rush hour and I felt they should have been ticketed.
It's a bit complicated to assign blame in this case. When planners design routes that are indirect, a certain percentage of people will ignore them. You almost never see auto infrastructure designed for anything but the straightest, most direct route, yet planners will often design bicycle and pedestrian paths using meandering lines most suitable for an old-timey aristocratic daydreamer out for a stroll. Then they are shocked and chagrined when people walk across the grass or otherwise violate their perfect design by taking the shortest route. Is it the users' fault or the designer's? Probably both, but I'd put more weight towards the latter, personally.
 
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Messages
558
I appreciate the clarification of your argument, but bad infrastructure is what Canada is known for. There is no top-down planning; streets are the provenance of the municipality paying for them and there is simply no way what you propose would work. The best commute is the one not taken; that's remote access. Californian's usually lean left of Trotsky so I made a faulty assumption about you being an environmentalist, sorry. I still stand by my argument, however. Mass cycling is never going to happen.
Don't get me wrong, I'm as green as Kermit the Frog and Jill Stein's secret love-child, I just realize that the environmentalist movement's 4 decade-long attempt at shaming people into action has been a miserable failure and touting a solution's green credentials doesn't sell. Musk proved that by making EV's sexy.

Agreed on telecommuting. Maybe VR tech can get good enough that commutes become largely unnecessary. As of today, there is still a level of interaction and idea sharing face-to-face that technology hasn't been able to replicate.

I would have agreed about mass cycling as recently as last year, but then I started researching about transportation because I was cycling everywhere and was frustrated by the lack of good infrastructure. The more I read, the more I realized that car-only transit models don't make sense, and the more I got the sense that we are approaching a breaking point in North America. Cars can never be the default mode of transport for the majority in a metropolitan area because they take up too much space. Cities that have tried to defy this and do it anyway like LA, Phoenix, Houston, and others are facing traffic and parking nightmares that get worse every year. Buses don't work because North American cities are too spread out and no one likes riding the bus (half the reason I got into cycling was so I would never have to take Muni). In major cities, you can get around just as fast by bike because you don't have to stop when the traffic backs up at every intersection and wait for the slinky effect as each part of the traffic line starts moving. In suburban areas, planners would only need a major stop or transit station every 4 miles or so if bikes are the assumed means of getting there and people can take them on the train / bus. Cars don't work because the parking lot at the station would need to be massive, and by the time you've arrived, walked to the platform, paid, waited for and boarded the train, etc. you could have just driven the whole way, not to mention the question of how to get from the last stop to your destination in a spread-out city where it's too far to walk.

The reason I think that people will become more amenable is because of cost. The road networks have been overbuilt in areas where there was never going to be enough economic activity to justify them. Those projects are now 20-30 years old on average, and it's projected that US infrastructure would need $3.4 trillion to be reconditioned, money that will never be recovered as growth. As TwistedAegis points out above, driving is the most subsidized activity in human history, and people don't realize just how much of their tax dollars are going to chase the fairy tale that everyone can get around by car, and just how much of a Ponzi scheme is car-only infrastructure. Those schemes only keep going when there is a new and even bigger round of expansion that can be done to hide the losses and fake the profits, and we are near the end of the road (pardon the pun). In the future, the only options are going to be investing proportionally smaller amounts in cycling and bus / train infrastructure and letting parts of the overbuilt road network return to nature, or massively raising taxes.

On an individual level, we live in an age of such extreme income inequality that a significant part of the population has to fight tooth and nail just to pay the rent, keep the lights on, and put food in the fridge. Owning and driving a car for every trip is not something that they can afford*. In a car-only transit model, these people are dependent on friends and family to get to work or go shopping. This time and resource sap on their benefactors is a hidden tax, and prevents them from using that time and money toward economically productive uses. If there is no one to drive them around, then they are simply trapped, and often in areas where they cannot get a job or buy good food at reasonable prices. They are then completely dependent on the taxpayer with no means of bettering their situation.

So not only do car-only transit models mean higher taxes to pay for more expensive infrastructure, they also mean more people on government assistance. Finally, because motor vehicles are so dangerous, every driver needs to maintain a license and a large and watchful police presence is required. Municipalities can use the threat of license suspension to coerce people into paying potentially unjust fines and fees that may have nothing to do with the way they drive. It is for these reasons that car-only transit models are the antithesis of conservative values of lower taxes, smaller and less invasive government, and people helping themselves.**

None of this is to say that no one should ever drive anywhere, or that some people still shouldn't drive for almost every trip if they prefer to and can afford it. It's just that the current North American model of forcing everyone to drive a car for every trip has always been a pipe dream, and governmental attempts to force our cities to conform to a mathematical impossibility have been a disaster that gets worse every day.

* Owning and driving a car is many times more expensive than most people think, and it's a rare vehicle whose total cost is less than $500 / month.

** Cycling and transit options also track well with liberal values, but everyone already knows that.
 

BloodyIron

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
3,439
So, created jobs in the process, and new infrastructure? Sounds like a win-win all around.

here in Albuquerque NM USA they just built a rapid transit bus system on Central Avenue; it's the outgoing Mayor's legacy project. Then they had to hire security guards to man the stop stations and ride the buses to keep the homeless and transients and druggies and drunks and riff raff off the buses otherwise the residents won't use the new high speed buses ... just saying
 

Xrave

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 29, 2004
Messages
7,673
If you are lucky enough to wake up as a tourist and take the train at 10am after the rush hour is over or you're visiting a small quaint town. Major cities though, have huge issues; it's literately people with sticks pushing you onto a train to try to get the train loaded to the absolute maximum possible and to squeeze out ever last inch of space available; cramming that space full with human bodies. I wouldn't necessarily call that a paradise. I wouldn't call it a total shit show either though as at least the trains run on time. Either way, I'd rather be in a car than have four guys bodies pressed up tightly against me from all sides and unable to escape the smell of body odour from the one of the 5 who didn't shower recently enough. No offense to other men.
And even there, during rush hour, it sucks.
lquj.jpg

I've ridden in that before; I travel to Japan a lot for work. Sure it's crowded during rush hour, but the public transport system is safe, clean, and almost always runs on time (buses included). It's efficiency at its best, and it's why it is the best in the world.

Um... no. It's really far worse.
The stereotype of groping was from the past...it's not much of an issue now.

Also this has nothing to do with the transportation system itself, this is entirely based on the people who use it.
 

dreadcthulhu

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
121
In fact, driving in general requires massive taxpayer subsidies to work, to the tune of about $1.20 per mile. Since the average vehicle is driven about 15,000 miles per year, that's $18k per year per driver! You can trot that out the next time someone says public transit is too expensive.

I have to call shenanigans on that statement; American's drove 3.22 trillion miles in 2016. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo...ecord-number-of-miles-driven-in-u-s-last-year

A subsidy of $1.20 per mile would cost $3.86 trillion dollars. Now, the entire Federal budget for 2016 was $3.54 trillion; even with state spending there is absolutely no way possible for that much to end up with that much road spending. Now, for some more reasonable numbers, total spending for highways & street construction that year was ~$92 billion https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/TLHWYCONS#0 ; lets call it $100 billion to account for misc projects that weren't counted with that figure. $100 billion divided by 3.22 trillion miles traveled equals 3.1 CENTS per mile subsidy. For your average 15,000 mile a year driver, that is $465. Given how useful roads are, and how much productively they enable, that seems entirely reasonable to me.

Now, for public transport, the US spends about $22 billion a year, at least according to the pro-public transport advocate above. According to the American Public Transportation Association, Americans traveled about 60 billion passenger miles last year on public transport. So that works out to about 36 cents per passenger mile, or about 10 times the subsidy that drivers get.

One final quick edit - the top figure is for vehicle-miles , not passenger-miles, and since the average car is carrying more than one person, that tilts things even further in favor of cars.
 
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TwistedAegis

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Messages
8,958
Anyone want to run the figures for spending on public transit versus passenger miles, and see how that stacks up?

But that's not an apples to apples comparison. It's like comparing the per unit cost for manufacturing 5,000 Teslas vs 5,000,000 Camrys. One hasn't received nearly the amount of time, energy and funding as the other, and so hasn't reached the same efficiency of scale. It's like starting a business; it isn't immediately profitable most of the time, but that doesn't mean it won't be.
 

dreadcthulhu

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
121
But that's not an apples to apples comparison. It's like comparing the per unit cost for manufacturing 5,000 Teslas vs 5,000,000 Camrys. One hasn't received nearly the amount of time, energy and funding as the other, and so hasn't reached the same efficiency of scale. It's like starting a business; it isn't immediately profitable most of the time, but that doesn't mean it won't be.

I went and calculated things out myself, sorry for that ninja edit. Anyways, public transport would need to get ten times more efficient in terms of subsidy per passenger mile to match what drivers are getting. That might not be possible to do, especially since much of the costs for both sorts of transportation involve buying land, which new tech & investment won't help with.
 

/dev/null

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 31, 2001
Messages
15,190
I have to call shenanigans on that statement; American's drove 3.22 trillion miles in 2016. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo...ecord-number-of-miles-driven-in-u-s-last-year

A subsidy of $1.20 per mile would cost $3.86 trillion dollars. Now, the entire Federal budget for 2016 was $3.54 trillion; even with state spending there is absolutely no way possible for that much to end up with that much road spending. Now, for some more reasonable numbers, total spending for highways & street construction that year was ~$92 billion https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/TLHWYCONS#0 ; lets call it $100 billion to account for misc projects that weren't counted with that figure. $100 billion divided by 3.22 trillion miles traveled equals 3.1 CENTS per mile subsidy. For your average 15,000 mile a year driver, that is $465. Given how useful roads are, and how much productively they enable, that seems entirely reasonable to me.

Now, for public transport, the US spends about $22 billion a year, at least according to the pro-public transport advocate above. According to the American Public Transportation Association, Americans traveled about 60 billion passenger miles last year on public transport. So that works out to about 36 cents per passenger mile, or about 10 times the subsidy that drivers get.

One final quick edit - the top figure is for vehicle-miles , not passenger-miles, and since the average car is carrying more than one person, that tilts things even further in favor of cars.

I drive ~ 20k miles/year...probably a bit more if I count my wife's car & rentals.
The most fuel efficient car we have gets (maybe) 400 miles on 12g. @ $0.19/gal tax * 12 gal = $2.28 per fill. Our other cars get 21/22, and my bike gets about 45mpg.

I do 16k/year in the most efficient car, so lets take that alone. 16000/34=470.58 gallons * 0.19 = $89 in fuel taxes. Pretty cheap. Now I pay $0.95 each way ~ 15 times per month (30 times total) as pure tax to the tollway to use I-94 ("Toll free in '73!" they said...) That's another $342 in taxes or $431. Now I have what 20-25% fed income tax, 5% state income tax, $8k in property tax to the county, and another 8.5%-10.25% in sales tax (depending which city I'm in). Buying from Amazon sends another 6.5% to the state.

Remember, this doesn't count the mileage on the motorcycle, the 10k miles we put on my wifes car (21mpg) or the 2k-4k miles I put in my sports car (21mpg premium) (gasoline tax on all 3) as well as the additional tolls all those pay.

So why are the roads crap? (Surprise: The road funds are used for unrelated pet projects...)
 
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