Orrin Judd is going on about the evils of cars and the wonders of mass transit again with an article about the increasingly long commute times in the USA. Presumably this shows what a mistake cars are, but as other commentors pointed out the usual case is that one spends far more wasted time when using public transportation compared to driving.
I try to see OJ’s point, but it seems to me that he’s (and other public transport supporters) are looking at the wrong problem. Rather than raising gas taxes and heavily subsidizing public transportation, why not try to fix cities so that people are willing to live in them? Cars are increasingly a necessity because of the spread of suburbs and exurbs. And why is that happening? Because cities are becoming increasingly unlivable. I doubt that there’s a single major city that couldn’t do more to get people on public transport by cleaning up the school system than anything they could do directly with subsidies and taxes. But of course, that can’t happen because the destructive socialism of our decaying cities is strongly correlated with support for public transport (perhaps there’s a lesson in that?). When public transport boosters start to address the underlying issues that push people away from public transport instead of punitive social engineering, then I’ll believe that public transport is a goal and not just an excuse on their part.