TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Clean Technology Bigger than Internet Claims Bill Joy

Re: Clean Technology Bigger than Internet Claims Bill Joy
Thu, 17 May 2007 20:20:47 EDT

In a message dated Wed, 16 May 2007 16:55:23 -0700, AES <>

> Anyone who's had the chance to live in a European city with good
> public transit knows that the availability of a good, reliable,
> well-planned, integrated public transit system is not just more energy
> efficient (and also more economical) -- its availability, and all the
> individual and commercial and social responses and asaptations that
> society makes to its availability, also combine to make everyday life
> simply immensely more pleasant in innumerable ways.

> Trouble is, there's a chicken-and-egg problem: you have to have the
> whole integrated system and the associated personal, social, and
> commercial adjustments to get the benefits; but until you have the
> system, the associated responses don't happen; and until you have the
> responses and adaptations, the transit system can't be built and be
> economically viable.

Unfortunately for such transit systems, most cities in the U.S.A. have
grown in the automobile era so that there is no real focus for public
transportation -- no central point. This makes it almost necessary to
have a car, since there is no practical way to serve all the
criss-crossing travel patterns which in some cities may have the
majority of travel.

There are some places where this is not true in limited areas. There
is no way I would try to drive in New York City, with its excellent
public transit system. San Francisco's seems to work well, too. It
is said that Boston's does too, but I have no personal experience.

There is no place in the world where public passenger transportation
does not require a subsidy; in most cases, outright operation by a
governmental entity.

Also, rail transit systems are tremendously expensive to build in
established cities.

Wes Leatherock

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