Monday, June 26, 2006

It's the traffic, stupid

Today is the third straight weekday Spare the Air day, when Bay Area smog levels reach such unhealthy levels that asthmatics stay indoors and transit agencies let people ride for free (today is the final time they will do so before the federal grant money to reimburse them runs out). After only one such day in 2005, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has already declared three, and more are surely on the way.

The conventional wisdom is that the cause of all of this is heat and low winds. And while those are both pretty crucial, the main ingredient in smog is car exhaust, meaning the main culprits are drivers.

By the way, since VTA does not seem to have enough fare inspectors to cover the light rail system, today isn't exactly the last day to ride transit for three, just the last day to do so ethically. This makes for an interesting ethical question -- is it better to ride transit without paying than it is to drive?


Anonymous said...

Be careful, the fare inspectors can get on unexpectedly, and they make a point to do so, alternating between directions at stations anywhere on the lines. The ticket is about $141, or at least it was in '99 when I got snagged without my ecoPass (doesn't matter that it was on my desk at work at the time -- I still had to pay, grumble.)

Perhaps the most ethical thing would be to go see Who Killed the Electric Car? (or, just watch the trailer because it has all you really need to know about the problem) and then spend a few days writing FAXes and on the phone to the various officials complaining about what went wrong.

Seriously, watch the trailer, but take your blood pressure meds first if applicable.

Nemesis of Evil said...

I'm not advocating turnstile jumping. In fact, once I couldn't the light rail ticket machine to take my money, so somebody getting off in MV gave me theirs. I paid double the next time.

As far as the movie, I'm hooked. Any movie that has Ralph Nader in it gets $25.43, or however much tickets cost now. Soome of the first cars that were designed were electric. Much like hybrids and "unleaded" gasoline, these are old technologies stifled by auto companies for decades. ... Is there anything we can't blame GM for?

And why does everybody think I'm on meds?