Saturday, July 05, 2008

30 billion fewer miles driven by Americans

Tell me again that Americans are addicted to oil.... Addicts don't turn on a dime; they continue their harmful behavior despite the irrational cost. That this is happening demonstrates a law of economics. Everyone makes their own calculation of the marginal value of gasoline. That is, everyone decides whether it's worth it to drive versus taking the bus, whether to make a trip or not, whether to ride with someone else... what car to buy, etc. 30 billion fewer miles were driven by Americans in the past 6 months according to estimates by AAA. The greenies welcome this news because it helps them justify their rail transit systems that cost 5 times per trip over driving. An exaggeration, right? The Sounder trains are far worse. I welcome it because with every person making the best decisions for her family we will lessen the impact of increased energy prices more than government programs and with fewer, smaller distortions in other areas. Distortions such as adding capacity where the mayor's son lives, rather than where a thousand more people will benefit. Seattle Times Newspaper:
Motorists have driven roughly 30 billion fewer miles in the past six months compared with the same period a year ago, according to federal government estimates. Meanwhile, commuters took 10.3 billion trips on public transportation last year, the most in 50 years — when the population was about 60 percent the current size — according to the American Public Transportation Association. Ridership is up 3.3 percent in the first three months of 2008 and 30 percent since 1995. Those trends suggest growing numbers of Americans are reaching their tipping points in how much they'll spend for the freedom and luxury of personal automobile transportation.

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