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Re: [xTransit] Are private cars the ideal transport?

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  • Anzir Boodoo
    Eric, ... I m not sure about this... as crowded as buses and trains are here in Leeds, the private car still transports at least 60% of travellers - should we
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 9, 2008
      Eric,
      On 8 Sep 2008, at 15:23, Eric Britton wrote:

      > On Behalf Of Chris Bradshaw
      > > We would argue that since cars only transport roughly 10-20% of
      >
      > > travelers, they should only have access to 10-20% of road space, for
      >
      > > moving and parkingand should respect the rest of users, as well as
      >
      > > the right to some peace and quiet of all the people working and
      > living next to roads.
      >
      > This is a good point: equity for all travellers. It applies not
      > just to space for travel and parking, but the various forms of
      > pollution. Under the right conditions, cars produce, per passenger,
      > less pollution and noise than larger public-transit vehicles.
      >

      I'm not sure about this... as crowded as buses and trains are here in
      Leeds, the private car still transports at least 60% of travellers -
      should we still have that equity of space, or should we shift the
      balance to where we'd like it to be?

      --
      Anzir Boodoo, PhD student
      The Institute for Transport Studies, The University of Leeds, LEEDS
      LS2 9JT
    • Eric Britton
      On Behalf Of Theo Schmidt Sent: Tuesday, 9 September 2008 13:19 ... I don t know about the second, would have thought the reverse, but the first is certainly
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 9, 2008

        On Behalf Of Theo Schmidt
        Sent: Tuesday, 9 September 2008 13:19

         

        Chris Bradshaw wrote:

        > Private cars both cause the breakdown of
        > share vehicle systems, and are the beneficiaries of that breakdown...

        I don't know about the second, would have thought the reverse, but the
        first is certainly true. It's plain human nature.

        Years ago I lived in a tiny village, Evershot in Dorset. This had a
        well-stocked village shop with post office which lots of villagers
        visited every single day or several times a day, being only some seconds
        walk from most houses. But it had a lousy bus service, only about one or
        two a day, and steep hills for cycling.

        An ideal place to put up the pinboard of the "Evershot Transport Club",
        which I founded. Using pins and notes, people where supposed to put up
        small notices if they required a ride or could offer rides in cars. In
        addition I sent forms for regular trips to every single villager.

        It was an utter and dismal failure. Not a *single* shared trip resulted
        even though everybody thought the club was a good idea. I myself, who
        had a car at the time, was unable to share or get a single trip. People
        - in our culture anyway - simply don't want to share if there is the
        *slightest* inconvenience. When you offer a trip, even if your passenger
        pays you, you have the cost of not being able to cancel your trip at
        short notice, of having to share with a perhaps unpleasant person, etc.
        These costs are immediate, whereas the costs of operating a car are
        indirect and in arrears.

        Much more advanced share-systems in Switzerland years later, using
        internet, membership and vetting schemes and special stopping places,
        all also failed. (What does work is time-slot exclusive sharing of
        vehicles.)

        There is a parallel in the world of free software, which is public
        shared software, and even free content. This is overall much better than
        private ("proprietary") software, which is usually also overpriced, yet
        I bet that 90% of the intelligent people on this list use e.g. Microsoft
        and Apple thingies. The cost of the small inconveniences associated with
        free software (e.g. lots of choice) is higher than the few hundreds for
        the commercial "private" solution. You get what you pay for, you don't
        have to share, you can blame the manufacturer when it doesn't work.

        Without special tricks. it is a lot more difficult to give away
        something people don't want or know, like free knowledge or free trips,
        than sell something they *think* they need, like certain fads or brand
        name items - or cars.

        Therefore psychologically private cars *are* the ideal transport - in
        rural areas and for the able anyway - even if we all agree that present
        day cars cost far too much: resources, space, health, even life.

        Theo Schmidt

        .


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