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But there are problems, also, right?
Lack of control of schedule. You live somewhere and gradually adjust your living arrangements to optimize transportation--move apartments, change jobs, find the best grocery store, etc.--but if you want to go to another grocery store, or the dentist, or the concert that's a km off your optimal trolley line, it quickly turns into a hassle.
In its prime (50ies or so in Sweden) train/bike integration appears to have worked well so that you always should be able to bring your bike. From what I have read that appears to have made slight variations less of a hassle.
Pricing variability. Fuel prices are high and irritating. But train ticket prices can jump up due to political or economic reasons, disrupting your commuting budget for no apparent reason.
In my experience large groups of commuters are vocal and politicians that does not explain price hikes are in dangerous territory. Small groups on the other hand can get in trouble.
Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
I generally prefer to write about problems in the context of possible solutions to them. On cars vs. trains, again generally, the intro of my latest diary Innovation and modal shift in Baden-Württenberg gives an implicit answer :-)
Crowded conditions during rush hour
As bad as that can be, the alternative may be crowded conditions on the road (a traffic jam including crappy old cars with smelly exhaust and other drivers in road rage).
close contact with other smelly, ugly, and noisy human beings.
Not limited to trains, this has been the subject of two diaries focused in inconvenient aspects of using pulic transport: The Buses of London or Why I'd Rather Walk
Lack of control of schedule
From experience I this is an issue if that schedule is infrequent or not well-adjusted with connected services. Like what I was faced with when travelling in Western France. My lesson from this is that generally, frequent services are desirable even if they mean shorter and thus less weight-efficient vehicles.
the concert that's a km off your optimal trolley line
Is this more about schedule or coverage ("line availability")? I face this kind of problem when I want to go to relatively nearby places which I can only reach via Budapest, due to a lack of proper orbital connections. This can only be addressed by network expansion (or close coordination with other modes of transport that can provide extra connections).
You must think of something specific; what? I'm familiar with three kinds of price variability in public transport: (1) general fare changes (almost always relatively minor increases at about annual frequency), (2) fare system changes (like the introduction of some zone ticketing or variability according to demand peaks) and (3) changes in fare reduction schemes (elimination in times of austerity and introduction in good times). For road traffic, these are paralleled by (1) (more volatile) fuel price changes, (2) the introduction of and changes in road toll, congestion charge and parking charge systems, (3) changes in fuel and car tax policies. All in all, I don't see how pricing variability in public transport is worse than for road transport, hence my curiosity regarding what you were thinking of.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
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