September 28th, 2005, 06:02 PM
Here in car-addicted Phoenix, the demand for new bus-routes, and even commuter rail have been increasing lately due to the high petrol prices (thank goodness!). In you areas, has there been a spike in public transit ridership, demand for expansion, or fewer cars on motorways during rushhour? I know here in phx the buses are more popular, and people leave their tahoes and expeditions in the garage, dusting off the old civic for commuting.
September 28th, 2005, 10:41 PM
I think that the high prices have moved more consumers toward the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles, like hybrids. Hybrid sales have risen, and many manufacturers are advertising their greater fuel efficiencies as major selling points. It is much harder to change the habit of getting in the car and driving everywhere, especially when so many of our communities are designed for this mode of transportation. Among people who cannot afford the high gas prices, there will probably be more public transit use, but everyone else will probably just live with it.
I sincerely hope that this energy squeeze does two things in the long-run, the first of which you have already pointed out. 1) Sustained high gas prices make many people reconsider a car-based lifestyle and a long highway commute to work. 2) Cars become more fuel efficient and less polluting. We have technology to make cars lighter, more aerodynamic, and less reliant on gasoline. U.S. automakers are behind in these initiatives, but have been picking up the pace more recently in response to Japanese companies gaining a significant edge.
September 29th, 2005, 07:01 AM
i read somewhere that the demand and use of public transportation has gone up, and demand for gasoline has gone down somewhat. this is one reason why gas prices have gone down a good amount after they surged up from hurricane katrina. the free market will do more good for public transportation than anything i can think of. after all, people listen when their wallet yells at them.