Tag Archives: Mass-transit

Mass transit in the U.S. is green: Myth?

Brad Templeton tries to debunk a long-held belief for mass-transit: that it is greener than other alternatives.  But I would say it isn’t that simple, which is illustrated by his chart that he provides.

Supposedly, San Jose’s Light Rail clocks at an energy usage higher than any other alternative.   But that’s San Jose.  Average light rail clocks in much lower when a car is driven by oneself — which is predominately how most people get to work these days.  Car pooling will be, around average,  the same energy usage as mass-transit.  Car pooling is significantly better when the passenger amount is above 2.

Other than San Jose, is there anything that is really striking from this? It doesn’t look like it debunks the myth (if there was one) and it certainly doesn’t say anything new about different modes of transportation.

I wonder how a transportation economist could effectively model people’s behaviors when evaluating different modes of transportation and what impact it really has.  Scooters are great but they are no match for long distance commutes.