Hybrids Or Buggies: How Will Americans Get Where They Want To Go?
With climate change in the news and on the national consciousness, how will American re-engineer its transportation system for this new century? Will we all be driving hybrids, or arriving by horse and buggy?
1. I don't see us going back to the horse and buggy
Most people don't have the time to put in to caring for a horse or two. I also don't see agriculture being demechanized and if it is, oxen are sturdier and more reliable draft animals.
I can see bicycles, with and without electric assist and with trailers, becoming a much larger part of local transportation. Vehicles with engines will likely be restricted to delivery trucks ad rail will once again reign supreme for long distance transport of goods. Longer distance personal transit will likely be by rail. Any exurb with a rail station will thrive. Exurbs without them will slowly go back to being rural towns as people become less able to afford fuel to commute daily.
As climate continues to change and the food supply gets more precarious and expensive, expectations are going to diminish rapidly. The car was one of the first things to go around here in 2008, as people rediscovered the bus system.
I don't, however, see much of a return to the horse and buggy except where they're also being used for farm work.