Vision of a Carless Future
Ever since large-scale automobile manufacturers started churning out affordable horseless carriages, a significant part of our culture has revolved around the time we spend in our cars. The countless “drive thru” fast food joints, coffee shops, banks, and even pharmacies that line the streets are strong evidence of our love affair with our four-wheeled beauties.
But, as with all love affairs, this relationship is not without significant problems. A carless world, made possible by advancing technology, could resolve many of our gripes. In a world without cars, everyday transportation would likely be centered around mass transit in the form of advanced subway and commuter rails, automated guideway transit, and monorails.
A Greener Point of View
Harmful greenhouse gas emissions can be significantly reduced when traditional cars are out of the picture. Mass transit systems are a creative means of reducing pollution and giving the world a breath of fresh air. This would benefit animals as well, especially those on the verge of extinction.
Innovative car manufacturers are already incorporating hybrid or alternative fuel engines into their lineups and consumers are enthusiastic about the idea of "green" travel. If mass transit systems continue to grow and become more affordable, comfortable, and efficient, people would eventually consider mass transit as their best option.
Change of Pace
Cities have already turned to mass transit as a way to reduce congestion and traffic. In a more streamlined future, no cars means less time spent in traffic time and therefore more efficient commutes. But less time on the freeway might bring an even faster-paced way of working and living.
Instead of listening to tunes and paying attention to the road, future travelers will be doing what most wish they could do while driving: eating, preparing reports, reading, and anything they can think of to get as much done as possible in a given day.
The cost of operating a car has become a major line item in the family budget and it's getting worse with escalating gas prices and rising auto insurance rates. Future mass transit will put less strain on family finances; it won’t be free but international studies suggest that people who live in places with solid public transit systems save money.
Even public spending is reduced and cites can spend more on education and health care and tax benefits.
A future without cars doesn’t mean mass transport will be the only way to get around. There will be plenty of eco-friendly, high-tech options for individual travelers who yearn to get up and go.
In the future, there may not be much actual walking or many wheels on the road: air-cushioned gadgets will allow travelers to glide above all different types of terrain including bumpy land, ice, and water. Personal jet packs would allow travelers (at least those who aren't afraid of heights) to get to neighborhood spots faster than ever imagined. Pastimes and sports would be structured to suit the new modes of transportation and it would be a brave new world, indeed!
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