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2979Re: [CarFree] Living car-free in Mexico

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  • Jym Dyer
    Aug 7, 2001
      =v= Interesting discussion, but as I see it, a few things have
      gotten mixed up here.

      =v= I was motivated to go car-free because I saw what cars and
      car-based land use do to society, but also for ecological
      reasons. Buses don't address land use at all, and are only
      marginally better for the environment -- especially the buses
      being described here, which are poorly-maintained and run on
      low-grade fossil fuels.

      =v= Don't forget that in the U.S., car, oil, and tire companies
      deliberately imposed bus service as an unattractive replacement
      for rail service, thereby discouraging people from using mass
      transit and instead buying cars. Buses will never be nearly as
      comfortable as rail, nor will they ever be as energy-efficient.

      =v= In the U.S. as in Mexico, buses are cheap and inferior
      service, primarily used by the poor, and primarily planned as
      service for communities of color. (Robert Bullard refers to
      this phenomenon as "transportation apartheid.") The described
      situation in Mexico doesn't suggest land use planning, but keep
      in mind that it's just a particular niche, planned to be so.
      The apparent "free market" dynamics are just chaotic processes
      within that niche.

      =v= At any rate, any situation in which inefficient, polluting
      buses are "naturally" the most competitive is a situation that's
      propped up with the usual hidden subsidies.
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