Reply to post: From the user's POV, cars are awesome

Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons


From the user's POV, cars are awesome

I am perpetually surprised by those who think that things would be great if only there were a few extra buses, or an extra train per hour; and then all the car drivers would realise just how amazing public transport is and go straight to It's not remotely true, for most people even the best public transport possible is a poor substitute for a vehicle that's ready to go directly to your destination of choice, on demand. Even environmentally speaking, buses and trains really ain't all that; when you look on a per-passenger-km basis they pollute every bit as much, on average, as cars.

The real problems are road space and dependence. In most towns and smaller cities, things are generally OK or at least possible for maximum levels of car use (85% ish) to work well. The remaining 15% (too young/old/poor/disabled) have to rely on taxis or whatever bus 'service' the local council insists on. That's the killer app for driverless cars, if a taxi can be had for similar marginal costs to driving yourself (no driver to pay) then not owning/driving a car isn't a problem any more.

As for roadspace, even in the 1960s it was recognised that in central London you'd need 8 lane motorways on a grid roughly every mile to handle peak flows with full car use, with everything in between being rebuilt to handle distributor roads, parking etc. This would be somewhat of an undertaking.

The problem is that the logic that applies so well to London (sorry, really can't build enough roads, have some tubes and buses instead) had been misapplied everywhere else.

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