Some Quick Thoughts on Sustainable Transportation

There has been a lot of commentary lately regarding sustainable cities and particularly about sustainable transportation.

The discussion about sustainable transportation usually revolves around mass transportation systems like light rail.

Light rail can be great for places like Tokyo where most people live in high rise buildings. In Tokyo, one can walk a couple of blocks from their apartment to a train station where multiple trains show up every 5 minutes or so and head off in multiple directions. It's very convenient.

But America's penchant for single family homes means that light rail is unworkable, or at most a minor part of the solution in most cities, bar Manhattan and a handful of other densely populated urban areas.

A better model for the U.S. would be small multi-rider vehicles that can accommodate something like 8-12 passengers, that swarm all over an area.

The Philippines has such a transportation system of privately owned van-sized buses called Jeepney's, which provide the Philippines with an efficient and convenient means of transportation.

Enhance the basic Jeepney model with electricity (batteries or fuel cells), smart roads, and ultimately self-driving capabilities, and we'd have the core of a sustainable, efficient, and convenient transportation system that would work with how American metropolitan areas are actually constructed.


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