On Saturday night, I trekked out to the Mission to see my friend's band play. What with the coming apocalypse and all, I decided to take BART rather than drive. Round trip fare was $6.90. With gas being over $4 a gallon, and the $4 bridge toll, driving would have cost me $8. So I saved about $1.
I also sometimes go out to Fremont to visit the homies. The BART fare out there and back is $7.10. My Toyota Corolla would burn about $8 worth of gas on that trip. So mass transit wins again.
What I'm wondering is, shouldn't this be some sort of crucial tipping point? If we're all rational actors, as economists like to think, shouldn't people be flocking to public transportation in droves now that individual fares are competitive with the cost of driving? Much ado is made about the point sometime off in the future when wind or solar power costs less than coal to use. Shouldn't this be the same thing?
I will say this: I no longer feel like a wild-eyed altruistic/masochistic goody-goody when I take BART. I'm just doing what's cheapest and most practical. Thank God for little things.
6 months ago