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Old 10-15-2007, 03:49 PM   #81
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Interesting...I read a thing once talking about how only 6% of japanese public transit users have green motivation but 25% of US ones do, and the article was all woohoo BS about it, and I was thinking "but 47% of japanese commute entirely by public transit, and only 3% of americans do, that there are actually more japanese who care...not to mention the 10% that ride their bikes!"

But that's very interesting to hear about...if only we could make it more convenient! How's the KC PT doing?
I don't think they wanted to be more green than us. Japan has no natural resources, so their economy/culture has been structured to be frugal from the beginning. Japan never had a Texas oil field to fall back on.

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Old 10-15-2007, 03:51 PM   #82
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Oh no, I wasn't bashing diesel cars, I was just saying that I think CO2 is a MUCH more long-term concern than NOx is...in India 40k deaths a year are blamed on un/loosely regulated 2 stroke emissions, ...I'm sure lawnmowers pollute more than most newer diesels...
Can you expand on this? I have heard conflicting info on what NOx does in the atmosphere. I have heard that it is a contributor to Global Warming and/or the source of Acid Rain.

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Old 10-15-2007, 04:32 PM   #83
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PM (Particulate Matter) and NOx are completely different. PMs have been significantly reduced with the advent of ULSD (Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel). The big problem with CO2 is that we are basically saturated...the ice at the south pole is now 99% saturated and will hold no more. No matter what we "burn", there will always be trade offs. You have to also add in the emissions created by transportation of these fuels to the pumps ect. What I don't get is the "gifts" given 3/4 and 1 ton trucks. Most of these are driven by "regular people" and not used for farming, trucking, ect. EPA needs to make MPG a factor in emission testing and compliance.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:53 PM   #84
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SVOboy -



Can you expand on this? I have heard conflicting info on what NOx does in the atmosphere. I have heard that it is a contributor to Global Warming and/or the source of Acid Rain.

CarloSW2
I'm being lazy and grouping NOx and PM together. As I recall, PM is primarily responsible for respiratory issues, including the ones I referenced in India. Look at this for some relatively non-speculative ideas about NOx: http://www.epa.gov/air/urbanair/nox/hlth.html

Other pollutants are of course included on the site.

That is, if you don't think the EPA is some evil government conspiracy trying to further the "liberal agenda" of academic mind control and do-gooder narcissism.
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:09 PM   #85
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Interesting...I read a thing once talking about how only 6% of japanese public transit users have green motivation but 25% of US ones do, and the article was all woohoo BS about it, and I was thinking "but 47% of japanese commute entirely by public transit, and only 3% of americans do, that there are actually more japanese who care...not to mention the 10% that ride their bikes!"

But that's very interesting to hear about...if only we could make it more convenient! How's the KC PT doing?
It is kinda difficult to compare public transportation in Japan and the US...VERRRRRRRY different population densities and travel distributions...just quick numbers: Japan -- 339 people / sq km // United States -- 31 people / sq km

If you were to compare the closest country by size, it is China, and they have a density of 137 / sq km...and much more centralized work centers.

I don't have any numbers available to me about the average distribution of destinations v. origins for commuters, but if you look at an average middle US city, most people do not work in a single concentrated area, but are spread throughout the city.

As a side note: The EU as a whole has a density of 112 / sq km.

Countries that have lower population densities than the US that have effective public transit also appear to have much more concentrated population and work centers. What's the solution for the US as a whole?? Other than mass migration, I think probably nothing other than move to less polluting personal vehicles and better future planning and development.

For my daily commute (32 miles roundtrip), in my car, it takes me about 45 minutes...if I rode the existing public transportation, I would have to leave about 2 hours earlier and it would take about 2 hours each way. This is based on existing published schedules. It is highly unlikely that there are too many people coming from my general residential vicinity to my general work vicinity to make an adjustment to the published schedules even remotely viable.
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:13 PM   #86
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It was just an anecdote anyway, obviously they're different by much, but I think it has more to do with the development of the country. In the meiji period the japanese government pushed rail as a western technology and it stuck because japanese people couldn't afford cars for real until the 60s, so the rail system was already well developed. I looked at china once for similar stats but I forget them and where they were...
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:27 PM   #87
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Sucks!

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How's the KC PT doing?
Short answer: Sucks!

They just opened the "Sprint Center" downtown -- big, new arena to revitalize downtown. No mention of expanding transit down to where nobody lives. So everyone gets back in their cars and drives (in congestion) to the outer points.

Light Rail has a small following, but "Add more Lanes" seems to be the popular alternative No progess...

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Old 10-15-2007, 07:36 PM   #88
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I remember when they were going to build sprint, way back in the day...Oh KC, I miss thee.
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:40 PM   #89
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It was just an anecdote anyway, obviously they're different by much, but I think it has more to do with the development of the country. In the meiji period the japanese government pushed rail as a western technology and it stuck because japanese people couldn't afford cars for real until the 60s, so the rail system was already well developed. I looked at china once for similar stats but I forget them and where they were...
That is one of the key points that generally is neglected. Most of the countries that have effective public transportation systems, have had them for quite a while already, which has allowed any new residential development to proceed with that existing system in mind. I am not aware of any existing larger city (300,000+) that has recently instituted a new public transportation system successfully.

As a side note: My wife is from Ukraine, and much of her family is in Russia...giving us a good look at and experience with lower density public transportation systems. Most of the riders do not own a car, or if they do, it is used rarely. Also, most of the riders are generally going to a common destination (within 5 km), and are willing (maybe not happy) to walk the remaining distance from where the public transport ends. The general systems available outside the largest cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, etc) are either OLD buses (1950's vintage), trolley buses (same vintage), taxis, or newer micro buses that are generally privately owned and operated.

Travel for the average person between cities is either buses (old, uncomfortable and unsafe) or the trains. When traveling there, we have done both public transit/taxis or rented a car. It seems that most of the old Soviet mentality is wearing off, and if people can get a car, they do. This has created a LOT of congestion compared to Soviet and immediate post-Soviet times. If you ask the average person, they will say that if a car can be afforded, it is MUCH better. I cannot imagine (now) being ABLE to use public transport, take our two children (4 days old and 2 3/4 years old) and do grocery shopping. No freaking way!!

I used to drive city and road buses, and would ride if there was a good alternative, but I am NOT willing to live in a crime-ridden urban area to save the environment. I am willing to save the environment by converting my car to electric (in the plans right now) so we can live where it is safe and pleasant. The only other way to correct this is to resurrect Joseph Stalin and let him reorganize the US to get better transit...but then again, I think we can look at the environmental records of the SU and currently of China to know that there is a veeeerrrryyy dark side to so much central authority.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:02 PM   #90
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All that being said...let me vote again on the original question:

1) make it a "fun" car...
2) make it safe (enough)...
3) keep it inexpensive (tort reform??)
4) hold the manufacturers feet to the fire and get the FE up high...
5) spend a lot of $$ on PR to make people feel stupid for driving a large SUV when they are the only passenger...
6) get the government to give a $ for $ tax break for buying high MPG cars
7) remove ALL tax breaks for large passenger vehicles used for non-fleet passenger transport uses (ie. no more breaks for hummers, excursions)...
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