The Greens constantly push public transport as the ideal transport system for every city, every passenger, every transport case.
See what I mean:
Motorists' petrol taxes should go to increasing public transport, they say.
Hang everything else and get the Auckland City Rail Link built, they say.
Scrap the Kapiti Expressway plan and build more public transport, they say.
Scrap the Puhoi-Wellsford highway, they say, and build more public transport.
Scrap Transmission Gully, they say, and build more public transport.
Their mantra, a never-ending refrain, is more rail, fewer roads—and if in doubt, get motorists to pay more.
“Rail, rail, rail, rail, rail.”
You’d think by their constant worship at the altar of rail that the environmental case for public transport was overwhelming!
That city’s could develop no other way.
That rail really is the “highly energy-efficient means of commuter transport” the Greens website says it is.
But it’s not. Rail is far from the most efficient means of commuter transport, as figures from the U.S. government bureau of transportation statistics figures and the U.S.Dept. of Energy Transportation Energy Data Book demonstrate. Brad Templeton looked at the figures from these sources and produced this handy graph, below, which shows that the average passenger uses less energy to travel a mile in the average car (with an average load of 1.57 passengers) than if he travelled in a diesel bus, a trolley bus, a heavy rail train, or a light rail train—and only marginally more energy than if he travelled by jet plane.
So if the Greens’ real goal were saving energy then instead of reciting the rail mantra at every opportunity, why don’t they simply encourage more car pooling? After all, technology makes that easier and easier with every app.
But they don’t. Because that’s not the Greens’ real goal, is it.
Hat tip David Willmott, who says the case for roads is still sound.