Thursday, September 4, 2008
The Politics of Personal Transit
There will be many powerful interests opposed to ever building anything like the system I have been describing, especially since the government will inevitably be involved and much of the American economy will be changed forever. Opponents will include but are not limited to; the insurance industry (particularly auto insurance), automobile manufacturers and their related sub-industries, bus,rail and air transit providers, many power utilities, and those philosophically opposed to government involvement. All of those groups will be vociferous and ardent in their opposition but in a democracy it only matters who has the most support. I am not talking about the 50% plus one vote majority our politicians refer to, I am talking about the support of at least 80%-90% of the populace. Without such strong support those opposing interests will prevail, I believe to the detriment of all of us. The biggest problem is how to get that kind of support when the vast majority of people have never heard of a national personal transit system, much less the feasibility of it. We are halfway there now since most people are at least aware there is a problem, even if that awareness is limited to how much gas for their car costs. Additionally, nearly everyone sees or hears about deadly a accident on the highways on a daily or weekly basis, so there is also some awareness of the safety problem. It is my opinion that these two factors, plus gridlock and cost, will be the reasons most people support a project of this sort. It will not be easy, however, since a large number of people adamantly resist learning about anything new once they are out of school but if enough mention is made on talk shows, blogs, newspapers etc. enough people will see how much such a thing will change their world, and a fierce debate should ensue. Hopefully, most, if not all, opposition can be shown to be pure self-interest over the greater societal good, and will be dismissed by most to the point that a solid majority in favor of updating the American transit system into the 21st century emerges. Anyone who can mention the ideas on this site in any kind of technology/energy/transportation forum would be much appreciated.