Trains Aren’t the Solution, Cars Are

Trains Aren’t the Solution,  Cars Are

The secret’s out! Trains aren’t the solution, they’re the problem. On May 30th 2016 the Wall Street Journal published this article stating how California’s cap and trade increases gas prices by 1/2c to fund projects like high speed rail that DON’T reduce emissions and yet cost us 1/2c per gallon on gas:

According to the state’s Legislative Analysts Office California high speed rail won’t reduce emissions for over 30 years, during that time it will actually increase emissions! Just like SMART.

Many have just about had enough of being spoon-fed by self-declared authorities on “sustainability” pushing expensive, ineffective rail projects costing billions. Authorities like Governor Brown, State Assembly leader Kevin DeLeon and rail advocates across the state.

The true story is now emerging that rail doesn’t fight climate change, it encourages it by increasing CO2 emissions even over the car journeys it displaces! Then authorities have the audacity to charge 1/2c on gas to bankroll encouraging climate change (all in the name of supposedly fighting it).

So What’s the Answer? Autonomous Shared Car Services

Meanwhile planners ignore the real solution: autonomous cars. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a group made up of 57 member countries including the United States, has published this report on how autonomous shared car services like Uber Pool and Zipcar can solve many problems:

For rail advocates this report clearly shows that the time has now finally passed for this 19th century solution. The report is based on a traffic and transit simulation based on the city of Lisbon in Portugal. Note that autonomous cars work in conjunction with transit which serves higher traffic corridors.

Here’s an excerpt from the findings:

“Congestion disappeared, traffic emissions were reduced by one third, and 95% less space was required for public parking in our model city served by Shared Taxis and Taxi-Buses. The car fleet needed would be only 3% in size of the today’s fleet. Although each car would be running almost ten times more kilometres than currently, total vehicle-kilometres would be 37% less even during peak hours. The much longer distances travelled imply shorter life cycles for the shared vehicles. This enables faster uptake of newer, cleaner technologies and contributes to more rapid reduction of CO2 emissions from urban mobility.

Citizens gain in many different ways. They no longer need to factor in congestion. Almost all of their trips are direct, without need for transfers. Mobility is much cheaper thanks to the highly efficient use of capacity; prices for journeys in the city could be 50% or less of today even without subsidy. Huge amounts of space previously dedicated to parking can be converted to uses that increase livability, from public parks to broader sidewalks, and more and better bicycle lanes. Particularly striking is how a shared mobility system improves access and social inclusion. In the simulation, inequalities in access to jobs, schools or health services across the city virtually disappeared.”

Reviewing the Benefits

To restate this solution will deliver these benefits:

  • Congestion disappears - improving resident’s quality of life
  • Trips are DIRECT, unlike with transit requiring time wasting transfers
  • Cost of trips drops by 50% or more WITHOUT SUBSIDIZATION (like rail)
  • Emissions drop by 1/3rd
  • 95% less space required for parking
  • Inequalities and access to jobs, schools or health virtually disappear

Readers may want to reconsider the benefits, if any, of continuing to pursue rail as a solution. The technology for self driving cars is practically here. Lyft will be launching an autonomous car service in a city in the United States just next year!

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