The US Public Interest Research Group released a report titled 'A Better Way to Go' this week. If you're a transit advocate and need some ammo for any coming fights I highly recommend it. The chapter that most interested me was the one about underinvestment in transit. They did some digging and found out how much investment we've made in transit versus highways in this country and even I was shocked at the chart. And this is just highways...not local roads, parking spaces etc.
A few other pieces of information from the report:
Carbon dioxide from our automobiles equals the total emissions from Germany, Japan and Canada.
Commercial Parking lots in this country cover more space than the state of Delaware.
Rail saves a lot of oil with heavy rail systems like the subways in New York and Washington DC doing most of the heavy lifting. The chart below shows oil savings from LRT.
Transit provides a wide range of benefits including, reduced road expenditures, reduced cost from traffic accidents and reduced public and private costs to providing parking.
Investments in transit create 19% more jobs than equivalent investments in roads.
In 2005, the subsidy to highways was $39 billion dollars.
In 2005, the state expenditure on highways was $100 B dollars. Transit was $7.8B
And many more...
At the end of the report PIRG advocates that we stop spending money on new highways and shift to building more transit. The Interstate Highway Program has funded all of the necessary highways in this country and its time to fill the gap between what was neglected in the last half of the 2oth century.