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I just want to sound off about that very big thing that is in most American's lives right now. Gas has gone from less than a dollar per gallon to about two dollars a gallon in less than four years. That is over one hundred percent increase. Since our economy is so petroleum-driven, we can expect the prices of everything to go up, just to keep up. What is long overdue is a tax for mass transit in this country that really works. The Republicans were accusing Kerry of backing a 50 cent per gallon tax for just such a thing. Right about now, the man is looking like a genius. I wouldn't hesitate for one second to pay $2.50 or even $3.oo per gallon right now, if I knew our country was mobilizing to provide solutions to our insatiable oil appetite. It looks like we will be paying $4.00 per gallon soon enough, and we will be no closer to solving the problem of limited oil supplies and unreasonable--no, ridiculous--oil consumption on our part. What lies at the heart of this dilemna of ours is the fact that we have no mass transit. As usual, we Americans just aren't paying enough attention to what is going on. Look at Amtrack. That boondogle has been going on for decades now. I had a Lionel train set that could stay on the tracks more often than that. Why is the ridiculously expensive, inefficient pasenger train so unsafe? Because it is rolling along on old track, some of it laid a hundred years ago, and it shares the same route as freight trains. Guess who gets priority? We fail at mass transit because certain people want us to. Now, I don't want to make accusations, but they sell cars and they build roads. Give me reliable mass transit, and I will be happy to use it, like millions of other Americans. All of Europe has reliable mass transit, but we don't. I have heard every excuse over the years. We have too much geography to cover. People don't want to give up their cars; Americans are too independent.(What car salesman came up with that one?) Here is my favorite: it's too expensive. How many millions or billions of dollars are we spending every year to build and maintain roads? The highway running through my town gets black top every three years. What about all the money we are spending on tires and maintenance of vehicles. Have we factored that in? It would sure be an awfully nice thing if we could get this mass transit in effect before we deplete the world oil reserves and have to resort to horses and steamboats again. Happy motoring.

"We sit here stranded though we're all doing our best to deny it." (Visions of Johanna) Bob Dylan

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The following comments are for "mass transit-NOW"
by brickhouse

mass transit....
I think alternative power sources is the best solution, around London now I see alot of electric cars and bikes, I have even seen cars which run on sunflower oil!!!!! A renewable source of energy that doesn't polute the atmosphere, and it is dirt cheap!!!

Personally though, I think that in all urban areas we would do well with bringing back the trams, it is already working really well in European cities and I think it would make the world a cleaner place to live in.

Alex :-)

( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: August 5, 2004 )

Mass Transit Extreme Makeover
I don't know if I agree that mass transit is the way to go. I live in Atlanta where we have MARTA. Although they want to build out to the furthest areas in the metro, most towns don't want it because they are afraid it'll bring crime. It sounds stupid until you hear all the stories of criminals using the train to move from one area of the city to another quickly. While I think mass transit is a great idea, until people's perceptions change and/or they no longer have the alternative of driving in their own car, I don't think we will see any movement toward it's use.

Good rant! I noticed the other day that it took $27 to fill my tank. It used to only take less than $12. *Sigh*


( Posted by: Shel [Member] On: August 5, 2004 )

an amendment
Okay, I can amend that to read...and/or alternative fuels. We can't just keep consuming like there is no tomorrow, and see the prices double each time. Noam Chomsky pointed out a few years ago that the number of cars on the roads are increasing exponentially, as developing nations become more prosperous and their citizens buy cars. The oil consumption is only a part of what's wrong, because the pollution from the cars is getting worse all the time. We are measuring this stuff in metric tons, and although this is a pretty big earth, there are limits.
Thank you, thank you all for the comments; I feel better now, and the other viewpoints have expanded my perspective.

( Posted by: brickhouse [Member] On: August 5, 2004 )

Running on Empty
I'd love to see the price of gas continue to rise. This is the only way that the world is going to change it's love affair with the automobile. There are just too many people on the road with gas-guzzling vehicles. They're not going to give up these cars until the cost is prohibitive.

The choice of alternative, whether it's mass transit, more efficient cars or alternate choice of vehicle, will only really be debated once people realize they can't afford to drive.

By the way, I drive an SUV and love it. It only costs about $50 to fill right now. Once it hits about $100, I may not love it as much. I've already scoped out the bus routes to work, just in case.


( Posted by: Nbiz [Member] On: August 5, 2004 )

re: Mass Transit --Now
Overall, I liked this rant, brickhouse. However, it could use a couple of paragraph breaks to improve readability.

As to the content,I'd like to ask a question: Why is it that we can put solar-powered-remote-control cars on mars, and yet our domestic vehicles get roughly the same gas mileage they did 50 years ago? me cynical, but something doesn't add up.


( Posted by: Pythagoras [Member] On: August 15, 2004 )

Here's the problem I see with rising prices. I am younger and fortunate I can afford four dollars a gallon if need be. But what about retired people, single mothers, or others less fortunate. This is an unfair society where everything from medical care to the pleasure of a country drive is a matter of material wealth.

( Posted by: jade [Member] On: September 12, 2004 )

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