By Derek Thompson, November 18, 2013
Here is a brilliant piece of data viz to show how public transit reduces congestion. I sort of can't stop staring at it.
If you do succeed in dragging your eyes away, read more about America's evolving car habits at The Atlantic Cities and check out Jordan Weissmann on the decline of driving in the U.S. over the last few years.
We continue to lead advanced economies in per-capita carbon emissions, 28 percent of which come from transportation. But even if the crunchy granola argument isn't good enough to make you see the benefits of public transit, consider that trains, trams, buses, and the like reduces traffic congestion, which is good for the life satisfaction of everybody behind the wheel, since science shows long commutes make us unhappy.
Commuting by public transit isn't amenable to all lifestyles, particularly for families who live in the suburbs outside the tentacles of the public transit system. But for both the country and the biosphere, the benefits are obvious.