transportation part 4

If you really have your heart set on a zero-emission vehicle, put on a helmet and ride a bicycle. Zero emission cars will soon become a reality, but only in TV commercials. Hydrogen and electric cars, for instance, still need an energy source (dirty coal for the foreseeable future) to produce their power.

Second, when it comes to jobs, Ontario's auto industry has followed a path of declining numbers for years, with car-makers sending jobs south even while making billions of profits. Helping Chrysler and GM produce cars won't produce buyers — a useful consideration, except for make-work projects.

Moving towards better mass transit, on the other hand, can bring hundreds of thousands of new jobs developing and building streetcars, buses and trains; building the necessary mass transit infrastructure; and operating transit vehicles and systems. Indeed, according to the Sierra Club, investment in public transportation creates 19 percent more jobs than investment in roads and bridges.

Good mass transit can include a supporting role for private vehicles — of a different type. Short range, low power, low cost and low emission vehicles — the Canadian-made ZENN vehicle comes to mind (as do bicycles) — would get people who live in low density suburbs to mass transit nodes. The high cost of the products of mainstream car-makers drains buyers of the incentive to pay an additional fee to take public transit. Is there really a good reason why groceries must be transported in vehicles that can go 0-to-100 kph in 5 seconds or achieve speeds of 180 kilometres per hour, particularly when city traffic averages under 40. (a.koehl)

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