Thursday, August 31, 2006


Public Transport

Many people living in big cities with decent public transport systems or people who have money to afford new or reasonably newish used car tend to forget (and were rudely reminded if they paid attention to what happened with Katrina) that we are an auto dependent society -- living in the suburbs or a medium size city, you simply don't have reliable access to public transportion (e.g. here in Tally buses run on any given route only once an hour and only from about 7 AM ish to 7 PM ish ... nor do they go to the airport), nor does it pay for the city to provide such reliable transportation given how few people could possibly use it.

The upshot is that those who are too poor to have a car which works well (which pretty much is anyone with an income much below the median -- and more so those who cannot afford even to sink money into the constant repairs required for a car they can afford) often have to resort to missing work, etc. (thus hurting their ability to "pursue happiness" as per our "natural rights" according to our very Declaration of Independence).

I do not know at this point what we can do about this situation -- but, in as much as our car dependent society is a problem, we gotta understand that car dependence, and the class stratafying effects, etc., of it, will continue so long as public transport continues to suck ... and there is really know way around that in most areas. And it isn't as if everyone can choose to live in a place where there is good public transport.

Of course, at the very least, we as a society do need to make sure that future development (e.g. through zoning codes) is geared toward service via public transportation. But it seems we've painted ourselves into a corner ...

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