Jordon Cooper makes a good effort to explain the psychology behind why people still choose to drive over using active transportation methods. Unfortunately, we know the reality of the costs of driving are much higher than dollars and a less healthy waist line.
Until driving becomes too expensive (another oil shock), too slow (traffic gridlock) or the personal cost of taking transit declines because transit service has become a lot better, people will keep driving.
Cities across the world have all learned the same thing. You need to invest in a world-class transit system first before lots of people begin to use it.
Like other cities that have made this happen, Saskatoon will need provincial and federal funding. The incremental upgrades the city is doing are nice, but they won’t change the underlying problem. Transit currently costs a person more than driving does.
While smog gets a mention in his column, climate change doesn’t come up once. Maybe it’ll turn off too many people who’d read it otherwise. More human psychology to deal with, right? That’s probably why the Conservatives’ budget never mentions climate change either (that, or the Cons permanently have their heads up their oily big gas).
So given the fact that not dealing with climate change is leaving human civilization on the road to likely ruin, and condemning countless species to early extinction, what’s the true economic cost of driving versus mass transit? Economists have trouble with that question, for the most part.
And on the subject of the cost of cars and transportation, and death, why aren’t there automated braking systems in all semi trucks? 3 teens died this past weekend because they were rear-ended by a semi when stopped for construction. The 4 people who would have been saved by the cost of installing such a braking system in every Saskatchewan truck, would have probably “paid” for it all.