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How About Free Food for a Year?

By July 9, 2011

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How would you like to have free food for a year and help the planet? It's easy. Just trade in your car for a bus pass.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, families that use public transportation--and either walk or ride bicycles for short trips--can save more money than the average U.S. household spends on food every year.

By parking your car and switching to public transportation you'll also reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and you'll be much safer. Riding a bus is 79 times safer than riding in an automobile, and riding a train or subway is even safer. Learn more.

Also Read:


July 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm
(1) guidoLaMoto says:

car payment = $200/month
gas for one month @$4/gal & 6000mi/yr@30mpg= $67
insurance = $83/month
total = $350/month

round trip on CTA = $4.50 or 78 trips for $350; that’s about 2.5 round trips per day

For a Chicago resident, that’s pretty close to a break even proposition without the convenience of owning a car for quick or spontaneous trips or longer trips/actual travelling.

You should be right on this one, but thanks to lucrative union contracts for CTA workers demanding high fares, it doesn’t quite work out.

July 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm
(2) guidoLamoto says:

-just read the 3 ‘also read” articles: -yes, it’s scandalous that Ford & GM used influence to diminish pub trans, but the rise of the auto industry led to 10s of millions of jobs: road building, restaurants along the road, gas stations, etc etc. We’re better off for it. One could argue that it made us the world’s major industrial power.
-re congestion pricing: when prices were doubled on Ill. tollroads, truckers just used free, surface roads and really messed up congestion there. More congestion, lower revenue, no decline in total traffic.
-how does 10% of Americans switching to pub trans save 40% of gas? Shouldn’t that save 10% of gas?

July 14, 2011 at 8:29 am
(3) czero says:

Guido your calculations are all dependent on where you live and many other variables. Moving lots of people in a bus or train is far more efficient than having each person operate a car or truck, and if mass transit didn’t work then we wouldn’t have it.

If you remove X % of cars off the road and replace them with mass transit, you will save much more in fuel since you’re stripping away lots of extra weight. 50 cars weighs a LOT more than 1 bus or rail-car for the same 50 people and since work = force X distance and force = mass x acceleration so Work = mass x accel x distance, so when we reduce mass, the total work (fuel energy) is less. This is very simplified but it does get the point across. As far as how much fuel is saved is dependent on the type of cars replaced by what kind of mass transit and how far the distance is etc.

In your second post you state: “we’re better off for it [the auto industry]” this is entirely subjective based on what you value. To me it’s not better or worse, it just is.

July 15, 2011 at 8:18 am
(4) guidoLaMoto says:

a) I qualified my original post as applying to Chicago and the ridiculously high fare scale. here we would save fuel, but not much money.
b) Your erroneous physics aside (wind resistance accounts for way more than weight and accelleration in fuel consumption), if 10 % of people stop burning their own fuel, we would save only 10% of fuel (isn’t that trivially obvious?). If they then start burning mass transit’s fuel instead, we save less than 10%. Where does the 40% savings as stated in the article come from?
c) You’re right- there is a value judgement to be made. Marginally cleaner air for no jobs or income, therefore no food or shelter, etc, is a good choice for some. BTW- if you had no job, why would you, or how could you, need to travel anywhere on mass transit?

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