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Posts tagged “mass transit”

By Robert Rapier on Mar 24, 2011 with 19 responses

Modes of Transportation

Because of my interest in energy, I have a long-standing interest in different modes of transportation. One of the reasons that I am not overly pessimistic about a future in which I foresee even higher long-term oil prices is that I believe we can make a shift from modes of transportation requiring a lot of energy to move people around to modes that require much less energy to move people. Within the U.S., there are cities in which a large fraction of the population walks to work, cities in which almost everyone drives alone to work, and cities in which more than half of the working population takes public transportation to work. A reader recently called my attention to a… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 16, 2009 with no responses

A Year Without a Car

On March 1, 2008 I sold my Nissan Micra in Aberdeen, Scotland and hopped a plane to Amsterdam to take up a new position. I have not owned a car since that time. A while back someone asked what that experience has been like, and suggested I write a story on it. So here it is. While in Europe It is really a tale of two continents. In large parts of Europe, one can get along reasonably well without a car. In the past year, I have worked at my company’s Accoya factory in the Netherlands most of the time. I fly in to Amsterdam, and there is a train station right in the airport. I catch a direct, 1… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 13, 2008 with no responses

Peak Convenience

In the U.S. (and most of the developed world), people are accustomed to great convenience. We live in climate-controlled homes, wake up each morning, take a hot shower, and then eat a breakfast consisting of foods from halfway around the world. We hop into our cars, adjust the temperature, and head off to work. We fly across the country for a few hundred dollars. We send letters from coast to coast for 42 cents. For us, ‘inconvenience’ occurs when a store is closed on Sunday. ‘Those people’ living in far away places who have to put up with the inconvenience of intermittent power, no heating or cooling, and who have to walk everywhere they go (or ride packed buses/trains) are… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 27, 2008 with no responses

Mumbai’s Deadly Trains

Given my recent trip to Mumbai – in which I took a trip on a very packed train – this story caught my attention: Mumbai’s deadly trains claim a dozen daily MUMBAI (AFP) – The death toll on Mumbai’s railways averages a dozen a day — more than a whole year on New York’s subway system, which has an average annual accidental death rate of eight. In the first four months of this year, 1,146 commuters died and 1,395 were injured, railway police said. Many of the victims had been hanging on the side of the packed trains, unable even to wedge themselves inside, and fell to their deaths after losing their grip, they said. Last year’s total toll was… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 12, 2008 with no responses

The Right Ideas

As a native of Oklahoma, this story was bound to catch my attention: Oklahoma’s painful car culture I know well how dependent Oklahoma is on the car. The reason? NEW YORK ( — For many people in Oklahoma, life is built around the car. With several refineries in the region, years of cheap fuel have made it possible for many people to live far from their jobs. So, I was preparing myself for another Big Oil scapegoating, when to my pleasant surprise the story took an unexpected turn: Cindy LaBeff, 46, drives 70 miles a day from the small town of McLoud to her job at a data processing center in Oklahoma City. Until a few months ago, she spent… Continue»