Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why Americans drive so much

If we built the interstate highway system as fast as we build mass transit, it wouldn't be finished yet.

The issue of livability of cities is a central question for local governments around the world. In order to cut down on congestion many cities are choosing to increase the cost of parking.

I expect that this will increase revenue for cities but it won't reduce the overall carbon emissions. The central problem is there are no alternatives to driving in many cities, and once you have a car it makes no financial sense to ride mass transit which costs more per trip than driving. This makes driving less expensive on a day to day basis for many so people choose to drive. What buses we do run are mostly unnecessarily slower than driving which reduces demand and means more people drive. Given the ineffiency of most bus routes people in under served areas drive which creates congestion. With no substitute people choose to drive and parking necessarily becomes very expensive or there will likely be a shortage from a price ceiling.

The solution is to remove price controls for parking and significantly increase availability of mass transit. This will solve the congestion crisis in most American cities.

1 comment:

  1. Wowsers!

    I have only begun to dip my toe into the great ocean of your Brilliance Matthew, but it is indeed a thrilling experience , to say the least -

    I envision a day when America's downtowns will look more like the Campus of Western Washington University,,, and a high speed rail system zipping throughout the empire -

    We could start with a pilot project somewhere...Portland and Vancouver, Warshington are in partnership to connecct the MAX line across the Columbia, but the MAX, in all its glory is still sooooo slow when it moves through congested areas - Still, itsa start - and no easy one at that!

    We need something that can zip up and down the I-5 corridor at several hundred miles per hour, stopping only a handful of places - Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, L.A - bodda-boom, bodda-bing! -

    -smaller, slower mass transit systems can connect commuters from a EuroRail / Maglev Situation -

    Thanks for provoking a brainstorm !

    I look forward to when our paths cross again -

    Kody J. Bosch