Thursday, June 26, 2008

Is Making Biodiesel Better than Public Transport?

Well here I am in the UK. This is a country that really taxes the car owner and tries to brow beat the general public into using public transport - especially in major cities. It's a growing trend accross modern western socieites.

But is it right? Should you be looking to sell your car and take the bus?

Maybe my own experience in one of the UKs biggest cities will help provide the answer. I was in Birmingham, to watch a game of cricket (well it IS England). I should emphasise that this was a match scheduled months in advance, the numbers of attendees were known in advance, and the city itself spends over $240 Million each year on Transport.

After the match I joined the thousands of fans seeking a way back to the centre of town to catch trains etc home.The stadium sits at the cross roads of two major roads each with bus stops every few hundred yards.

So I stood at the nearest stop with about 100 other people, in the pouring rain (well it IS England) and watched in horror as not 1, not 2, not even 3 but 4 double decked buses passed right by with "out of service" signs. Then a 5th went through the intersection north/south also marked out of service.
So let me ask you this; if a major city with $240M to spend on transport can't organise enough buses at a known location at a known time for a known number of people - what chance is there for any town?
When you consider that the alternative is to jump into your own warm, comfortable car, parked just round the corner, and drive straight home on clean fuel that you made your self for a few dollars a tankfull - what are you going to do?

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I live in Boston and we suffer the same ridiculous caveats against public transit. I'm considering getting a Prius or making biodiesel and getting a VW diesel. Damn lack of infrastructure planning.