Now That People Are Using Transit, Improve It

<p>Driving is down, transit ridership is up, but few are serisouly talking about how to improve America's transit system, according to this article from <em>Grist</em>, which wonders why.</p>
June 9, 2008, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Locked into habits formed over decades of pro-auto policy, motorists doggedly faced down rising prices. Oil has since doubled in price again, and for the most part, the American public continues to motor away. Having busied ourselves building horizontal cities and eight-cylinder engines for decades, we are now woefully unprepared to do otherwise. Better to swallow hard, fill the tank, and hope the whole mess goes away."

"But behind our car addiction lies hopeful news. Americans drove 11 billion miles less this March than last March -- a 4.3 percent drop, and the steepest one-year reduction since 1942. In 2008, gasoline consumption is on pace to decline for the first time in nearly two decades. And transit ridership is up. Yes, in America."

"The ceaseless climb of oil prices, the growing financial toll of congestion, and the looming cataclysm of global climate change have not yet shaken the men and women entrusted with the care of our infrastructure to act -- or moved politicians, the press, and the public to demand action. Why can we not bring ourselves to speak of the need for better transit?"

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Published on Friday, June 6, 2008 in Grist
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