Community Solutions recently issued a report about modifications necessary to our transportation infrastructure in a future world where we experience declining oil supplies. (Community Solutions, if you aren’t familiar with them, is the group that created the documentary “The Power of Community: How Cuba survived Peak Oil”) They are proposing a system they are calling the Smart Jitney, which is essentially a souped up ride share program designed to reduce the amount of cars on our roads. And I have to say, I like it. I like it a lot.
I recently read through a report by Alliance Bernstein about the future of automobiles where they placed all the marbles for our future transportation needs in the plugged in hybrid basket. Essentially making quite a few difficult, and risky, assumptions that we will be able to sequester power plant emissions (unproven), generate clean energy for our homes and cars (not at the levels we are generating now), and create a new infrastructure built around a totally new type of car (to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars). In short, they are making some huge leaps there to support their given choice for transportation.
I think a belief that somehow through technology we will be miraculously saved and able to maintain our current lifestyle is a fatal flaw of our society. One that we need to give much though to as we move forward into this future in front of us.
Community Solutions takes a more realistic approach to their analysis of our transportation system. What about mass transit? What about hybrids? Plug in hybrids? Hydrogen cars? Bikes? Walking? It’s all discussed in their Smart Jitney report. And even better, they develop a solution that is very realistic in it’s cost in real dollars, easy to implement in it’s totality, is achievable and realistic, and is already happening in some places around the world.