The thing about Toronto, they never got rid of their streetcars. I wonder how much that has to do with their ability to keep transit numbers up. Now they are off on a light rail expansion to fill in some gaps.
Atlanta is the poster child for sprawl, and as a result it has hardly any alternatives to cars: 89 percent of workers drive; less than 4 percent take public transit.
Boston is an older city, with an extensive transit system from the days when most people didn’t have cars. Even so, 79 percent of the labor force drives to work, but 11 percent do take public transit.
And then there’s Toronto. It’s still more auto-centered than not — but 22 percent of workers take public transit.
You can read some more thoughts on Krugman's posts here(Bellows), here(Yglesias), here(City Comforts), and (BT). Are things starting to change in the US? Are people actually starting to discuss land use and transportation? Frank at Orphan Road covers this as well:
I've been ranting for a while now about the connection between land use patterns and energy consumption, but for a whle it seemed like shouting into the wind, especially as national politicians talked about how some magic pill like ethanol was going to solve all our problems. Lately, though, it seems like the connection between land use, public transit, energy consumption and national security is finally starting to gel in people's minds.I hope you're right.