Originally Posted by calico2222
No offense intended....but what world are you living in??? I now have to travel 30 miles to my work because my company moved and I just want to keep my job. And it's amazing how quick the gas goes. No, we don't have a car pull or bus because the scedules are staggered and many have children where if there IS an emergency they don't want to depend on a ride that won't be able to leave work because of that. (yes, we've all talked about that and it isn't going to happen). Do I LIKE having a 30-45 min drive to and from work? No. If you can find me a job within walking distance that has the same pay and benefits, I'd be grateful. You do your research and see what you can find.
And I should live in a "fairly dense area"???? Why? So I can be shot at and mugged and raped? Sure, I'll walk or bike 5 miles and pray to God I make it to work each day. That to me is no life, no matter what kind of paycheck you get.
There are ways to get around some of the problems that keep you from car-pooling. At my job location, there is a driver service that is free for people who use alternative transportation (so you can get home for free if you suddenly get sick in the middle of the day) and you can rent cars by the hour (might work to pick up kids from school in an emergency, but might not, depending and where you lived and such). As the price of fuel goes up, the infrastructure to get by without a car will improve.
You and I have different priorities, values, and opinions. It would be no kind of life for me to drive 30 miles work and I actively enjoy walking to work. It makes me happy. When I lived about 2 miles from work (passing a fair number of homeless people and some places that regularly had human excrement on the sidewalk), I felt bad when I got a ride from my spouse and happy when I walked. That's just my emotional and physical response to the situation. My sister and her spouse don't have a car (they moved because of his schooling and she's been able to find jobs within walking, riding and busing distance), and my spouse sold his car when he moved to Chicago. He was just talking about the certainty that he'll be mugged at some point walking home, but he still prefers not to own a car. We live in Orange County, California, and after he sold his car we had the two months we've ever had together before he went to Chicago. The lack of car actively improved our lives, because we walked more, and we love to walk together. So, in the world I live in, people do get by without cars.
You'll continue to vote for government subsidies for roads, and I'll continue to vote for bonds to build fast rail, you'll continue to vote for people who support cheap fuel and I'll continue to vote for people who will try to put environmental costs into the costs of energy and goods. I don't have any problem with it when people disagree with me about values. My values are quite different from the values of the majority of Americans. I just hope my values will spread!
Originally Posted by Yosemite
How would higher fuel costs improve public transportation? They would probably cut down on the number of buses servicing the routes to save money if fuel prices are high.
As for living apart from one's spouse for the sake of walking/cycling/busing to work - which one is going to take responsibility for the children? And are they going to get tandem bicycles to take the kids to day-care and shopping with them? Oh, maybe they would have to get a cart attached to the bicycle to hold their groceries with maybe a side car for the children - do they make side cars for bicycles?
Higher fuel costs increase the percentage of people who take public transportation. The increased ridership increases the money gained in fairs, increases the number of routes and buses on those routes (which in turn increases the usefulness of the system, which increases the number of people who use it) and increases the number of voters and taxpayers who support money going to public transportation. Essentially, you need to have a certain threshold of public interest and ridership to make a functioning public transportation system. Increased fuel prices in the US will increase the number of functioning public transportation systems in the US.
Different individual people will make different decisions about having children, raising children, and living together or not. All of this occurs right now, and having a car based society really just increases the distance between jobs and the distance people travel to go to their jobs; it doesn't increase the number of jobs available to spouses who live in the same house.
All of those bicycle suggestions are good, and I've actually seen all of those examples myself. I've even seen pictures of bicycles make for snow riding (although neither cars nor bikes can get through 2 foot drifts).