About Alternatives to car use
Established alternatives for some aspects of car use include public transit such as buses, trolleybuses, trains, subways, tramways light rail, cycling, and walking. Car-share arrangements and carpooling are also increasingly popular, in the US and Europe.75 For example, in the US, some car-sharing services have experienced double-digit growth in revenue and membership growth between 2006 and 2007. Services like car sharing offering a residents to "share" a vehicle rather than own a car in already congested neighborhoods.76 Bike-share systems have been tried in some European cities, including Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Similar programs have been experimented with in a number of US Cities.77 Additional individual modes of transport, such as personal rapid transit could serve as an alternative to cars if they prove to be socially accepted.
Car issue - public benefits
In countries deprived from wide door-to-door public transport and with low density, such as Australia, the automobile plays an important role on the mobility of citizens. Public transport, by comparison, becomes increasingly uneconomic with lower population densities. Hence cars tend to dominate in rural and suburban environments with public economic gains.
The automobile industry, mainly in the beginning of the 20th century when the high motorization rates were not an issue, had also an important public role, which was the creation of jobs. In 1907, 45,000 cars were produced in The United States, but 28 years later in 1935 3,971,000 were produced, nearly 100 times as many. This increase in production required a large, new work force. In 1913 13,623 people worked at Ford Motor Company, but by 1915 18,028 people worked there.10 Bradford DeLong, author of The Roaring Twenties, tells us that, "Many more lined up outside the Ford factory for chances to work at what appeared to them to be (and, for those who did not mind the pace of the assembly line much, was) an incredible boondoggle of a job.10" There was a surge in the need for workers at big, new high-technology companies such as Ford. Employment largely increased.
Cars - Costs and benefits
The costs of car usage, which may include the cost of: acquiring the vehicle, repairs and auto maintenance, fuel, depreciation, driving time, parking fees, taxes, and insurance,5 are weighed against the cost of the alternatives, and the value of the benefits ? perceived and real ? of vehicle usage. The benefits may include on-demand transportation, mobility, independence and convenience.7 During the 1920s, cars had another benefit: "couples finally had a way to head off on unchaperoned dates, plus they had a private space to snuggle up close at the end of the night."48
Similarly the costs to society of encompassing car use, which may include those of: maintaining roads, land use, air pollution, road congestion, public health, health care, and of disposing of the vehicle at the end of its life, can be balanced against the value of the benefits to society that car use generates. The societal benefits may include: economy benefits, such as job and wealth creation, of car production and maintenance, transportation provision, society wellbeing derived from leisure and travel opportunities, and revenue generation from the tax opportunities. The ability for humans to move flexibly from place to place has far-reaching implications for the nature of societies.8