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R

I'm right there dreaming with you, Lance.

One thing that people often don't think about is the way that an improved public transit system doesn't just benefit anti-car neo-hippies and the yuppies on the commuter trains; if you have a well-designed system, it allows people who don't have the money to buy or rent cars and maintain them to have access to jobs and markets and amenities that would otherwise be literally out of reach.

Unlike many of the pie-in-the-sky back to the land schemes that are supposed to save us from the world of Big Oil and industrial corruption, transit systems both within and between urban areas can do a lot of practical good for people at all levels of income. I really hope that Obama's Big Infrastructure plan has public transit as one of the cornerstones.

Jay

Western Europe ended up full of bike-riding, mass transit using, eco-friendly hippies largely because policy makers and urban planners in the 1950's and '60s remembered the experience of WW2 oil shortages and imposed high gas taxes in order to reduce dependence on oil imports. It was necessity and national interests, not public virtue, that worked for Europe and Japan, and in the end it will be economic hardship that drags the American people kicking and screaming into a more energy-efficient society.

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