Just Mobility: Postfossil Conversion and Free Public Transport

Brie, Michael; Candeias, Mario
Date Written:  01/07/2012
Year Published:  2012  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX20611

In the face of a growing world population and metropolitan areas growing to accomodate them, Brie and Candeias analyze electric cars and free transit as alternatives to urban mobility.

Abstract: 
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Publisher's Description:

Car-based society has arrived at a dead end: Oil, the most important resource for car travel, is slowly but surely running out. At the same time, both the number of registered vehicles and the amount of carbon dioxide exhaust continue increasing, severely intensifying global warming and, consequently, climate change.

What does the future of mobility look like, particularly in our cities and metropolitan areas? The car industry is pursuing two strategies. The first, more dominant strategy is to simply expand individual transit, meaning business as usual, and hope for growing markets in Asia. But one thing is certain: If it is only directed at growth, the megacities will collapse in the foreseeable future under the attendant increase in traffic volume -- and the climate consequences will reach devastating proportions.

Since an understanding of finite resources and the limits of mobility growth are even acknowledged within the industry, the car companies have in recent years been pursuing a second strategy of converting to supposedly "green" capitalism. Where car production is concerned, that means building electric cars first and foremost. This, however, ignores the fact that electric cars also consume energy and it is uncertain where this energy is going to come from in the future. Additionally, a struggle for energy is already underway -- "regulated" via the market -- above all over price, in the Global South as well as in the OECD countries. This means that mobility is increasingly becoming a social issue.

At the same time, the alternative to this struggle for access to energy and mobility is already obvious: free local public transit. That's because it would be a solidarity-oriented alternative to the unequal battle for access that all members of society would benefit from it -- not just the people who are wealthy enough to ignore the cost of energy or who can already afford an electric car.

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