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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saying goodbye to the ‘passenger mile’ [MinnPost]


[From MinnPost]
Last week I made a terrible mistake. I accidentally clicked on a link to a radio story from APM’s Marketplace, a “freakonomics” segment that argued that transit wasn’t as environmentally efficient as its supporters would like. Quickly, my brain began to fill with intellectual pollution.
Eric A. Morris, the “freakonomics” writer was basically parroting a line you often hear from bought-and-paid-for anti-transit shillsWendell Cox and Randal O’Toole(both of whom are funded by right wing think tanks), Morris concludes with the following sentiment:
It is not clear that moving around large and largely empty vehicles is much of an improvement over moving around smaller ones. In fact, it may be worse. According to the Department of Energy’s Transportation Energy Data Book, in 2010 transporting each passenger one mile by car required 3447 BTUs of energy. Transporting each passenger a mile by bus required 4118 BTUs, surprisingly making bus transit less green by this metric. Rail transit admittedly fares better, at 2520 BTUs per passenger mile, but even this is not the kind of slam-dunk advantage over the auto that transit advocates might hope for.
[Keep reading at MinnPost] 


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