Thursday, October 29, 2009

In the future we will all drive Ferraris

Driving a Ferrari is much more environmentally friendly than driving a Prius, with one caveat. This is only true if you compare driving the Ferrari a couple of times per month versus driving the Prius daily. So should we all drive Ferraris? Well, maybe some of us. Is trading daily economy for weekend waste a reasonable idea?

If James May is right, the car will be reduced to a hobby endeavor where we buy cars to drive for fun rather than utility. For those of us who think owning a Ferrari sounds pretty neat, this is a nice idea. Joe Eaton makes a similar argument in Slate. Eaton has started taking the bus and is devoting his savings to hopefully buy a Porsche.

From a transportation policy perspective, there is merit to this idea. As congestion gets worse and driving becomes more expensive less people are interested in doing it on a daily basis. Where transit is a reasonable options lots of people decide not to drive everyday. This doesn't mean that they give up driving altogether. It means that they are transit-savvy and willing to make their decision about how to travel based on a variety of factors, and make these decisions daily. A future where driving is consumed in moderation is much more achievable than one where driving is eliminated completely.
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