Originally Posted by evenstar
it wouldn't surprise me
and don't be lecturing me on this " in europe it;s 6 bucks a gallon" yah i get it. in europe they actually make it easier to get around without a car unlike here. here we have too much sprawl, we are lazier, fatter and our public transportation system is a joke compared to many european countries
there are only a few big US cities that "get it" when it comes to being able to get around easily without a car. SF, chicago and NYC come to mind. build up not outward. control sprawl! make public transportation more attractive and available to everyone. lower demand = lower cost
I agree with you. In Europe, gas is heavily taxed in order to improve roads and public transit. Anyone who has ever been to Europe knows how vastly superior their transportation systems are. In the US, if you don't own a car in certain areas, you are pretty much screwed. While in Europe you're often crazy to own a car.
One main difference is the decentralization of the US town and the rise and prevalence of suburbia. In the suburbs, you are so far from the city center that anything but car is simply impractical. In Europe, tightly centered homes surrounding the town center are far more common. This setup allows people to get around town on foot or bicycle and allows for an effective train system that just has to have one stop per town.
The US is totally setup on huge towns and freeways, so cars really aren't going anywhere. Practically every town would need some sort of metro train system in addition to the mass rail connecting all the towns. That is not feasible. The US is a lot larger than the average European country, the taxes (especially transit) are far lower, and the towns are arranged in a way that makes driving most practical. I hate the setup, but it is how it is.
I guess our future lies in the electric car, not the electric railway. However you cut it, gasoline powered cars have to go. The cost is becoming prohibitive and they are absolutely decimating air quality in our biggest cities. Once an alternative to traditional batteries is discovered, I hope to see electric cars take over, but Detroit will likely try to run the technology into the ground.