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They Failed To Coerce Americans out of Their Cars

Terence P. Jeffrey on

Commuting by subway -- or some other form of public transportation -- and commuting by car epitomize two dramatically different lifestyles in the United States.

In the former, for example, an American might live in a high-rise building in a densely populated urban area. He rides an elevator to the street each morning and then descends via an escalator to an underground chamber, where he stands on a concrete slab until a crowded train comes along.

When he boards that train, he is likely to stand, holding the metal rail above his head to make sure he does not fall when the train lurches forward.

He hopes the coughing, sneezing person standing next to him does not have a communicable disease -- but doubts it.

In a hypothetical example of the latter lifestyle, an American might walk through the door of her single-family home into a two-car garage. She gets into her four-door sedan, pushes a button to open the garage door, starts the car, turns on the air-conditioning and backs into her driveway.

She then heads down to the street, passing through a bright green lawn shaded by a massive oak.

 

She now turns the dashboard stereo to her favorite music.

That same morning, some other Americans would be heading to work via bus, bicycle, cab, carpool, ferryboat or even their own two feet.

So, which commute would you choose?

A recent Census Bureau report indicates the vast majority of American workers have made the same choice: They drive -- by themselves -- in their own cars.

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