Thursday, April 24, 2008

Those who have positioned themselves wisely...

...take advantage of mass transit in rapidly rising numbers. Everybody else is coughing up an arm and a leg for gasoline and diesel.

At $3.75 a gallon, more drivers park it
$4 a gallon mark draws closer
By Rick Popely | Chicago Tribune reporter
April 24, 2008

...Preliminary figures for 2007 from the Federal Highway Administration show that the number of miles Americans drove last year fell 0.4 percent. That sounds like a drop in the bucket considering the total still topped 3 trillion, but it was the first decline since 1979...

..."To visit my mom, I have to take public transportation. I can't afford the gas anymore," he said while vacuuming his personal car at a Des Plaines car wash, where across the street gas was going for $3.79...

...In a national survey of nearly 7,000 consumers in January by CNW Market Research, 35 percent said they would reduce their driving "somewhat" and 25 percent said "significantly" if gas stayed around $3.75 a gallon for six months. At $4 a gallon, 41 percent said they would significantly reduce driving...

...[Metra] ridership rose 10 percent last year, to 80.2 million, and is up 10 percent this year through February. That is despite a 10 percent fare hike Feb. 1. Metra counts ridership according to the number of tickets sold, so Pardonnet points out that the increase could be skewed by riders who bought 10-ride tickets before the fare increase...

...As Americans spread to farther flung suburbs, fewer live close to their jobs. Alan Pisarski, a transportation consultant and author of "Commuting in America," said this has crimped carpooling as well as mass-transit use...

It's not so much the Mass Transit systems that are crippled by so many people living out in the burbs, but the people themselves who are crippled - held as a captive audience to their gasoline needs. After you cut out all discretionary car trips (as in, going nowhere at all but work, school, for medical care and to get grocers) there's no way to "reduce driving" further. And yet these alone are bad enough - most people's normal daily commute is going to kill their budget, not the occasional side trip to the movies or out to eat.

And if you haven't taken that though seriously before now, well, good luck. You'll need it.

Which doesn't mean the transition to a European lifestyle will be painless...

Gas Prices Continue To Push Motorists Onto Transit
Posted by: Christian Peralta
19 April 2008 - 1:00pm
In the sprawling Atlanta region, some and bus lines are experiencing overcrowding due to the soaring number of transit commuters.

Today, record gas prices are what's keeping him on the bus and has growing a number of other metro Atlantans hitching a ride with the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, leaving some buses with standing room only...

Makes you wonder just what your city's "planning commission" has been planning for since Peak Oil became known to the upper echelons of government about 5 years ago.

And let's not forget the air quality and environmental benefits, since we value good stewardship (or at least we're supposed to).

Bay Area TODs Helping To Cut Emissions
Posted by: Christian Peralta
19 April 2008 - 5:00am
New transit towns around the Bay Area's BART stations are attracting residents who value the convenience and savings of a walkable community and nearby transit.

..."I hardly ever drive," Ligibel said. "I love it, absolutely love it."

Ligibel is part of a small but growing slice of the Bay Area population that lives in a transit village, a term coined to describe high-density housing within easy walking distance of train and bus stops. Long touted by city planners as the cure for everything from sprawl to obesity, they're now being built across the region...

The trick is to actually own a home near a mass transit line, though.

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