We are all entreated by our political masters to take public transport whenever we can, to help save our fragile planet.
However, no-one truly appreciates the carbon cost of public transportation.
In the city in which I live (well, on the fringe), one has a choice of exactly three methods of "public" transport - a bus, a train, or a taxi.
Two of these are mass transit, and the other (taxi) is a sheer indulgence for intoxicated fascist business people (baby killing freaks), so I will concentrate on the mass transit aspects, bus or train.
Now, as a self-employed basket-weaver living in the ex-burbs, I simply don't like travelling to the centre of the city. However, recently I had no choice, as I had to attend a hearing in the Social Security Tribunal re cessation (and repayment!) of my unemployment benefits.
Loath as I was to travel to the Big Smoke, I was forced to do so, and of course I took mass public transit, i.e. a bus.
When I got on, there was only ONE other person on board. I paid $4.60 for the trip, so of course I wanted a bit of company, so I sat beside the other passenger, and struck up a conversation.
Unfortunately, she was not much of a conversationalist, and apparently had to get out at the next stop, and I was left ALONE in this enormous yellow metal tube.
So, I started to fret about my carbon footprint as a result of my using mass transit. Here I was, 10:30 in the morning, the only passenger on this carbon-spewing behemoth. (To be fair, I picked a Gaia friendly bus, which was running on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), which has a far less carbon footprint than diesel buses (of which I waved two on, and it was only because I was approaching the hour of my appearance before the Social Security Tribunal that I flagged down the next bus, which, Praise Gaia, was a CNG bus).
As I craved human company during my long journey, I attempted to strike up a conversation with the Captain of this behemoth, but as I could not speak Farsi, and he could not speak English or Green, the conversation was doomed to failure.
To cut a long story short, I ended up doing a bit of research, and discovered that the carbon footprint of each bus was simply enormous.
See this link for a myth-busting approval of CNG buses from the worthy warriors at Clean Cities.
However, the green-ness of a bus depends solely upon the NUMBER OF PASSENGERS!
When this enormous yellow behemoth was driving me around like the Princess of Wales (it was a Mercedes Benz, after all), I was the only one on board, and OF COURSE the carbon produced in order to transport my skinny body around was significant.
It is precisely the same shit with trains, but on a worse scale! These (eerily, also Caterpillar Yellow) monstrosities do not even attempt to run on anything as as Gaia-friendly as CNG (Compressed Natural Gas).
No, these puppies run on electrickery, produced by Gaia-raping coal-fired power stations. So, I thought to myself, what if I am the only passenger on a train???
Bugger me! I have heard that people don't want to use mass transit systems because of swarthy youths of Middle Eastern appearance setting fire to seats, harassing passengers, and occasionally sitting alone in an oversized trench-coat sweating furiously and mumbling prayers to Allah. What abject nonsense!
What we need to do is ensure that mass transit is fully utilised, otherwise like my lone journey into the Social Security Tribunal, it creates an enormous carbon footprint. We need to ensure that each mass transit unit (MTU) is filled to capacity, and the only way to effectively achieve this is to reduce the number of services.
I firmly hold the opinion that if we reduced the number of MTU's, each remaining MTU would be far more greenhouse efficient, with increased capacity. It would be cheaper for public transit authorities, who could spend left-over funds on decorative woven baskets or somesuch.
This is a radical viewpoint, but came about just thinking about under-utilisation of mass transit facilities. Maybe I can ferment a political movement on this basis, as my comrades of the left, and indeed the Greens, seem hell-bent upon INCREASING mass transit, at a time we should be DECREASING its availability!