Some measures to climate-proof our lives will need government.
But for transportation, it’s likely to be the opposite.
When I lived in Hong Kong, I’d usually take a yellow minibus (privately-owned) or a pak-pai (private taxi) to get around. Compared to a public bus or legal taxi, the system was cheap, fast, and infinitely flexible. The swarm of minibuses would change routes from minute to minute to accommodate demand.
Climate-proofing our transportation (which averages 14% of American family budgets) will call for reducing our costs and increasing our flexibility. Fortunately, large-scale free-market transit is finally showing it can do this in America. An Atlantic writer tells us, “on an individual level, the private bus was much more pleasant and not much more expensive” and refers us to a recent paper, which calculates that privatizing public bus services in 2011 could have saved $5.7 billion across the US, or 30% of total bus transit costs – with increased usage, lower prices, and no reduction in quality or service.
There’s pushback from governments and others, but from customers? No so much.