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I agree about the U.S. putting out far more than its share of CO2.

The existing transporation infrastructure is almost entirely based on automobiles and airplanes. The railroad system in the Northeast carries a substantial fraction of the commuter traffice, and much of the railroad infrastructure built during the second world war is still in place so we could fairly easily implement a 1945-scale railroad transportation system. But even during the depression, most people had cars.

On the other hand, it would take no change to the roads to run busses. And electric busses powered by overhead wires are practical and not too expensive, so that would be a pretty easy step to take to cover transportation in the exurbs. Truly rural areas are more of a problem, but there aren't many people living in rural areas anyway.

by asdf on Wed Nov 1st, 2006 at 11:56:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I heard that many surbubs are build on purpose without any public transport connection. Since you wouldn't put a bus stop by each gate, the switch to bus services would be far from elegant. And then you have shopping malls and all other services completely in other places. Reverse evolution of the sprawls might be very interesting... though hardly pretty.

In a parallel thread, I have an intermediate transportation proposal, where clients would submit their travel requests, and a transportation company would route its cars or minibuses to satisfy those requests. It is like taxi, but with different passengers served together. The idea is simple, actually, though possibly not implemented anywhere, due to complexities of routing and request communication. But with modern technologies of wireless communication and the internet, these problems can be handled. I believe this system could be acceptable to regular car users right now, and it would help to reduce traffic and its emissions substantially. Don't you think that this system can be viable somewhere in the US?

by das monde on Thu Nov 2nd, 2006 at 02:02:33 AM EST
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