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Old 2008-08-21, 12:43   Link #21
Phantom-Takaya
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Wow. That's really strange. Here in Alaska, it's $4.36-$4.56 per gallon, depending on what grade you're using for your car, which is pretty high compared to the gas prices I've been hearing in the East Coast. What makes it strange to me is that some of the oil comes from my state. You'd think gas would be cheaper because of that.

As for me, personally, my car averages out at 30+mpg, but requires higher grade fuel. Because of the fact that I actually put in a Japanese engine and modified the car a little, 90 octane (which is the highest possible in our local gas stations) is actually borderline as the lowest possible octane I could use. So, if I were to empty out the car until it no longer worked without any drop of fuel left, it would be around $65 for 14 gallons. But, since I'm not that crazy (often enough), I only spend an average of $50 each time I fill up. With the "octane boost" additive I put in that costs $10 dollars each time, I'm looking at an average of $60 to $75 every week and a half to two weeks, depending on how much I end up having to use the car.
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Old 2008-08-21, 13:04   Link #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
In the meantime, I hope pump prices stay high long enough for Americans to change their transportation habits. It's atrocious that a country the size of a continent has not developed a rail system as extensive as Europe's. Rather than lecturing China and the rest of the world about energy security and protecting the environment, the United States can do more to set its own house in order first.
What good is that going to do, though? Yeah, high gas prices might get people to change some individual citizens to change their driving habits, but that's a really limited view of the overall situation when there are other things that high gas prices dramatically effect...What about the economy? Much of the American economy is dependent on transportation-based services, such as travel or shipping, and if gas prices get or sustain high enough, the businesses will start feeling economic pain...A business has to do something to cope with the high prices, so what do they do? They either have to do cutbacks or ditch jobs, or to further hurt the citizens more than they already are, pass the buck on to the consumers by raising the prices of their products...Food prices aren't going up for the hell of it...And businesses are also hurting in return when consumers can't buy goods when the products of the prices are rising; It's a full-circle chain that effects both sides of the issue...

I hope gas prices continue to drop or stay low sub-$4, since $4/gal seems to be the tipping point for many consumers, as well as for many businesses...What good are citizens going to do complaining about high gas prices if everything else around them is economically failing?

If anyone wants to play the "Well, Europe's gas prices are more expensive than America's" game, note that Europe and America are not the same...For one thing, many European governments are socialistic and already add taxes upon taxes to the price of gas (How a citizen of any European nation puts up with it, I can never imagine)...And European gas is rated at different octane levels, so the production cost to make gas for Europe is different from America...In America it's as low as 87 and as high as 91, where I believe in much of Europe it's as low as 91 and as high as 98...100 octane is offered in America as a racing fuel, not even a civilian octane level...That can make a big difference in gas prices...



Anyway, gas is somewhere around ~$3.70 for 87 here in Louisville, KY...I drive a 1993 Mustang LX with a rebuilt Ford 2.3L SOHC I4, so fuel economy is not much of an issue with me, since I get about ~25mph on average...Paying for it is different, since I only have a part-time job in retail...I simply just have to spend less on leisure products (And even more so after paying for my college tuition; College rates are BS!)...
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Old 2008-08-21, 13:50   Link #23
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Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
What good is that going to do, though? Yeah, high gas prices might get people to change some individual citizens to change their driving habits, but that's a really limited view of the overall situation when there are other things that high gas prices dramatically effect...What about the economy?
People rise to the challenge. Businesses don't just want to sit there and raise prices on consumers, they'll change methods and try to slim down for efficiency. Whether it comes in the form of assessing work schedules (for example, Chrystler and now some other companies are moving to four-day work weeks to keep down operation costs) or even something as simple as upgrading a vehicle fleet or investing in alternative forms of energy, they'll do it if it helps. These things should be done anyway, but nobody will do it if it's just as profitable or more profitable to ignore them. With higher gas prices, innovation in energy now seems like a good idea. Such innovation has a greater focus and is being furthered and adopted better than it would have been had gas prices remained lower. Should gas prices drop, the interest in energy efficiency will like fade, as well. If prices get high enough or stay the way they are for long enough, maybe we'll see some real changes to our energy infrastructure.

Quote:
If anyone wants to play the "Well, Europe's gas prices are more expensive than America's" game, note that Europe and America are not the same...For one thing, many European governments are socialistic and already add taxes upon taxes to the price of gas (How a citizen of any European nation puts up with it, I can never imagine)...
You do realize that we have taxes on gas here in America too, don't you?

Quote:
And European gas is rated at different octane levels, so the production cost to make gas for Europe is different from America...In America it's as low as 87 and as high as 91, where I believe in much of Europe it's as low as 91 and as high as 98...100 octane is offered in America as a racing fuel, not even a civilian octane level...That can make a big difference in gas prices...
There actually isn't a difference. The difference in numbers has to do with how the octane is measured. Europe and America use different methods; 96 octane in Europe would probably be 93 or 92 octane in America.
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Old 2008-08-21, 14:13   Link #24
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Originally Posted by solomon View Post
So, I was wondering how people, particularly in the US, are dealing with the high price of gas?

I'm a college student. I am from NoVa (Fairfax County, VA; core inner suburb of DC Metro area) but am attending college in Oberlin College, in NE Ohio (it's in the cornfields about 30 min away from Cleveland, traffic permitting) with no car.

Thusly, with me being in a realitivley isolated college town, I am pretty much immune to the pain of holed in wallets like my family.

How bout the rest of ya?

Also how's the price of "petrol" affecting you non-yankees out there?
Cool. NoVa here as well, Fairfax County.

Gas Prices have slowly been dropping lately now that the peak summer time season is coming to an end.


But, people think gas prices all over the world are high?

Just wait until India's "Nano" car ("The world's cheapest car") comes out officially for sale this fall. It's a new car from Tata Motors that only costs $2,500 (US $), and is supposed to revolutionize India, by being affordable to millions of Indians who never have owned a car.

That's another nation of 1.1 billion people to compete with in oil, in addition to China's ever-growing energy demand.

I do think that many of the criticisms around the developed countries (particularly from the U.S.) against India and the Nano are hypocritical, America needs to cut back on its own gas-guzzling needs. And I don't know if it's the making of a "global environmental and economic disaster" as some people say.

But, the addition of millions of millions of cars basically overnight isn't something to scoff at either.

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Old 2008-08-21, 14:35   Link #25
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I don't own a motorvehicle, so the issue doesn't really touch me, but the prices of 1.50 €/l seem ricey. On the other hand, I live in the capital area of Finland (Helsinki), so pretty much everything is a little bit more expensive than elsewhere in the country.

Still, it's just a matter of time before I buy a motorcycle or a car. I imagine motorcycles consume less gas, so the expenses shouldn't be anything intolerable (I hope) and I surely hope that choosing a small, but sporty car helps, since I can't imagine paying more of what my car drinks than my own.
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Old 2008-08-21, 14:51   Link #26
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I have been to singapore and rode the MRT. the whole country has a diameter of 20-40 miles? most people have to drive that far just to go to work in the US. a train system is not practical unless you live in a large city. I live in Dallas and we have a DART which is similar to the MRT. but it doesnt go to any shopping areas which is bad. once you get off you will have to take a bus or a taxi to get to your destination which also makes using it impractical unless you work in the central part of dowtown.
Which is why I compared the US to Europe and not to Singapore. The US is possibly the only developed country with an almost non-existent intra-country (not intra-city) rail network. I could get to virtually any town or city in Europe by train, but that's well-nigh impossible in the US. I know because I'm planning a holiday in New England right now, and it's depressing how I have to rent a car to get anywhere worthwhile.

To be fair, Europe's rail system is sustainable only because of heavy government subsidies. Moreoever, you can't build an entire network overnight (actually, it already exists, but it seems that hardly any Americans use it, not when air travel is so much faster). So, it's more sensible to go along with Ledgem's suggestion of more energy-efficient cars. That doesn't take a lot of time to implement. Lose those massive three-thousand cc engines. When most of the world gets by on less, why must America continue with its wasteful addiction to cheap petrol?
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Old 2008-08-21, 16:45   Link #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
With higher gas prices, innovation in energy now seems like a good idea. Such innovation has a greater focus and is being furthered and adopted better than it would have been had gas prices remained lower. Should gas prices drop, the interest in energy efficiency will like fade, as well. If prices get high enough or stay the way they are for long enough, maybe we'll see some real changes to our energy infrastructure.
See, that's the thing...I believe in American ingenuity because it's the very things that make the American economy run that are so great, yet at the same time, I have to be cynical and wonder what energy alternative can we come up that will make a significant change...Any energy alternative thrown out there either currently in use or still in concept will take years and/or decades before America in whole will be able to reap the benefits...In order for there to be an efficient and effective energy source, there has to be a ready access and production for all consumers to be able to use it, which is what oil has been able to do for the last hundred and so years after displacing coal...Oil was just easier to to make a transition into than it's been so far making a transition out of...

It's not this or that either; I support both lower gas prices and alternative energy sources, but you're not going to get the latter any sooner than you're going to displace the former...That's why I believe alternative energy sources are best left to be perfected for the long-run while we ease our economic pains by using up our reserves while drilling for new oil sources off-shore in the short-run...We already have an abundance of oil that's currently out of consumer reach, and later or later it's going to run out; Why not use it up while we've got it? It's not like even in the next 5 or 10 years we're going to have drastic changes in our most valuable energy source, so I don't see any logic behind looking for alternative energy sources to increase our energy dependence while killing the economy in the now with high gas prices...Where's the money gonna come from if our economy can't stabilize itself with higher gas prices? Can't I have it cheap now and displaced later?

Efficiency, effectiveness, economical; That's what I want in my energy source...

Do I sound like T. Boone Pickens, by the way? Because I hope I don't... >_<

By the way, I bet that 4-day work week at Chrysler was proposed by the UAW...That wouldn't surprise me; They're already one of the major reasons Chrysler, Ford, and GM are starting to go under...

Quote:
You do realize that we have taxes on gas here in America too, don't you?
Of course I know that, I count every $9/10ths for every gallon that goes in my gas tank...I should've introduced the word "relatively" before "higher taxes", keyword still being "higher"...





Speaking of India's Tata, I find it interesting that in contrast, with China's economy on the rise, that many Chinese citizens are buying up SUVs...While America is celebrating the death of the SUV, China is celebrating the ability to buy an SUV like it's a VIP car...lolwut?

You know, even though I like high fuel efficiency, I find it funny how many people are starting to drive smaller compact cars in an effort to displace the high price to pay for a gas-guzzler...High gas prices are supposed to change our driving habits, right? Well, there's an example...But wouldn't more fuel efficient cars then create less gas consumption, therefore bring the price of gas down? How's that supposed to help in accelerating our need for an alternative energy source?

Alternatively, I suggest we all drive big-ass trucks and SUVs and sports cars with an 8-cylinder or higher count with an engine displacement over 6.0L in order to help decrease the supply of oil faster so that we can get to alternative energy sources that much quicker!

*drops a 427 in the Mustang*




I correct my record; I went to put a couple bucks in my tank, and gas was $3.55 at Speedway in Hikespoint, $3.52 with my Speedy Rewards Card...
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Old 2008-08-21, 17:07   Link #28
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Which is why I compared the US to Europe and not to Singapore. The US is possibly the only developed country with an almost non-existent intra-country (not intra-city) rail network. I could get to virtually any town or city in Europe by train, but that's well-nigh impossible in the US. I know because I'm planning a holiday in New England right now, and it's depressing how I have to rent a car to get anywhere worthwhile.

To be fair, Europe's rail system is sustainable only because of heavy government subsidies. Moreoever, you can't build an entire network overnight (actually, it already exists, but it seems that hardly any Americans use it, not when air travel is so much faster). So, it's more sensible to go along with Ledgem's suggestion of more energy-efficient cars. That doesn't take a lot of time to implement. Lose those massive three-thousand cc engines. When most of the world gets by on less, why must America continue with its wasteful addiction to cheap petrol?
The US has one of the most extensive highway networks in the world, and constantly cheap fuel prices (excusing the occasional crunch) have pretty much killed public transportation in all but major cities.

There was an analysis a few years back where they found that the whole rail network needs serious upgrading to be brought up to modern standards, but trying to get something like that budgeted when it's "cheaper" to drive is difficult at best.

There's been some push over the years to get the rail system upgraded again for interstate travel but it hasn't been until this recent gas crunch that the ideas have been given much thought. It's still a matter of who has to pay for building and maintaining it, and of course the US is much larger than most countries so it's a logistics problem too.

I'm a fan of the idea but unfortunately it's not likely to happen anytime soon. At least not until Maglev trains become more affordable. Then the speed would be comparable to planes but much more efficient. But either way, the rail system needs to be updated before even considering such thoughts.
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Old 2008-08-21, 17:07   Link #29
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I see Americans cry left, right and centre over the last few years

When you get to 10-12 dollars a gallon, then come join the misery room with us all where hung rope and chairs are a plenty over in the UK.
(1.20 per litre)

You guys dont realise how lucky you are over there, heh...
*almost feels lime importing petrol from America cause it's so cheap*
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Old 2008-08-21, 17:12   Link #30
tripperazn
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
So, it's more sensible to go along with Ledgem's suggestion of more energy-efficient cars. That doesn't take a lot of time to implement. Lose those massive three-thousand cc engines. When most of the world gets by on less, why must America continue with its wasteful addiction to cheap petrol?
Well, I'm not sure about your taste in cars, but I personally much prefer to drive my Dad's Lexus SC400 coupe with a 4000cc V8 than my own 2000cc I4 economy car. The difference in fuel economy is two-fold (16 mpg vs 33 mpg), but at about $4 a gallon, the US has (like it always had), the cheapest fuel in the world. At the current price, I'd pay the price for the enjoyment I derive from driving an awesome car.

It's a problem similar to world hunger. The way the ecology works makes it so that it takes 10 times the calories in feed to create the amount of calories present in whatever meat/fish you're eating. If we simply stopped producing meat and figured out a way to distribute the excess food created more evenly, world hunger would cease to exist as a problem. The problem with these solutions? Humans love meat and we also happen to love fast cars. It's just one of the many "human" factors that keeps society from running at perfect efficiency.

I do agree that more efficient automobiles is a good intermediate step, but in the US it's already happening. AFAIK, Toyota is unable to meet Prius demands in the US. Japanese automakers have basically devoted their entire marketing strategy around fuel economy and nothing else.

To answer the OP, I hypermile my economy car. Slow acceleration, minimal braking, and drafting trucks does wonders for MPG. It also serves to make driving a boring automatic that much more fun.
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Old 2008-08-21, 17:16   Link #31
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$1.30 per Litre CDN



(Go lower currency rates!!! )
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Old 2008-08-21, 17:19   Link #32
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Originally Posted by tripperazn View Post
Well, I'm not sure about your taste in cars, but I personally much prefer to drive my Dad's Lexus SC400 coupe with a 4000cc V8 than my own 2000cc I4 economy car. The difference in fuel economy is two-fold (16 mpg vs 33 mpg), but at about $4 a gallon, the US has (like it always had), the cheapest fuel in the world. At the current price, I'd pay the price for the enjoyment I derive from driving an awesome car.
I can one-up you...What about the new C6 Corvette? 430hp 6.2L LS3 V8, 18/28mpg with the T56 transmission...The Z06 has a 505hp 7.0L LS7 V8, 16/26mpg...

"Fuck yeah, America!"

...and engineering too...The Corvette still has pushrods, much to the dismay of JDM-tyt3, y0! fanboys...
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Old 2008-08-21, 17:24   Link #33
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Originally Posted by ApostleOfGod View Post
$1.30 per Litre CDN



(Go lower currency rates!!! )
WTF...why does Toronto get cheaper gas prices than us here on the West Coast???

It's $1.40 per Litre CDN here...
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Old 2008-08-21, 21:34   Link #34
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Originally Posted by MidnightViper88 View Post
See, that's the thing...I believe in American ingenuity because it's the very things that make the American economy run that are so great, yet at the same time, I have to be cynical and wonder what energy alternative can we come up that will make a significant change...Any energy alternative thrown out there either currently in use or still in concept will take years and/or decades before America in whole will be able to reap the benefits...In order for there to be an efficient and effective energy source, there has to be a ready access and production for all consumers to be able to use it, which is what oil has been able to do for the last hundred and so years after displacing coal...Oil was just easier to to make a transition into than it's been so far making a transition out of...
Don't take this the wrong way, but these all sound like excuses for not transitioning to something new. Oil was easier? It'll take a long time to transition? I don't think so. We already have an electric infrastructure in place should we switch to electric vehicles. Should we change to hydrogen, we already have refueling stations. The stations would need to be refitted for electric or hydrogen, and production for electricity or hydrogen would need to be altered to fit the new demand. But compared with, say, creating a car from scratch, these aren't big deals. You can bet that if gas were cheap these changes would take years to occur, if they would occur at all. But if there were a real fuel crisis you'd probably be amazed to see just how quickly humans can adapt and innovate.

Quote:
That's why I believe alternative energy sources are best left to be perfected for the long-run while we ease our economic pains by using up our reserves while drilling for new oil sources off-shore in the short-run...We already have an abundance of oil that's currently out of consumer reach, and later or later it's going to run out; Why not use it up while we've got it? It's not like even in the next 5 or 10 years we're going to have drastic changes in our most valuable energy source, so I don't see any logic behind looking for alternative energy sources to increase our energy dependence while killing the economy in the now with high gas prices...
People aren't looking to the future, they're looking to here and now. Even if you can find someone who is looking to the future, there's a good chance they're one of the "I won't be alive by then so I don't care" types. In other words, if people aren't feeling the pinch now, there'll be nothing but lack of motivation and procrastination. Or do you think that the reason that cars haven't changed much over the past 100 years was because of technological limitations? You seem pretty knowledgable about them, so I'd expect that you're aware that hydrogen-powered cars and hybrids are far from new concepts.

Hybrids in particular are damn sensible concepts that should have been around as soon as lithium ion battery technology matured (and maybe even before then), but you didn't see car makers making a big deal out them until the public began scrambling for them. That happened with the price of gas started skyrocketing. There was virtually no innovation in the automotive field until the pinch started occurring.

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Where's the money gonna come from if our economy can't stabilize itself with higher gas prices? Can't I have it cheap now and displaced later?
Where's the money for our war coming from? How about instead of pissing away trillions per month on a fruitless war, we do something similar on national infrastructure and research? As for cheap now and displaced later, won't happen. If you aren't put through pain and feel forced to become more efficient and innovative, you won't do it. It's a rule of nature that relates, ironically, to energy efficiency.

Quote:
Efficiency, effectiveness, economical; That's what I want in my energy source...
How about adding sustainable to that list?

Quote:
You know, even though I like high fuel efficiency, I find it funny how many people are starting to drive smaller compact cars in an effort to displace the high price to pay for a gas-guzzler...High gas prices are supposed to change our driving habits, right? Well, there's an example...But wouldn't more fuel efficient cars then create less gas consumption, therefore bring the price of gas down? How's that supposed to help in accelerating our need for an alternative energy source?
Because the average person doesn't care about the overall trends of society. If gas is cheap, they'll do whatever they want. If gas is expensive, they'll try to compensate. Realize that the average person isn't thinking ahead and they're not thinking about sustainability or energy efficiency, they're simply reacting to what's happening. It's up to the foreward thinking people and the innovators to bring efficiency to society.

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Originally Posted by tripperazn View Post
Well, I'm not sure about your taste in cars, but I personally much prefer to drive my Dad's Lexus SC400 coupe with a 4000cc V8 than my own 2000cc I4 economy car. The difference in fuel economy is two-fold (16 mpg vs 33 mpg), but at about $4 a gallon, the US has (like it always had), the cheapest fuel in the world. At the current price, I'd pay the price for the enjoyment I derive from driving an awesome car.
The US doesn't have the cheapest fuel in the world, Venezuela does. And no offense, but what you wrote sounds pretty spoiled to me. I'm not a car afficionado, so maybe I'm being overly judgemental. Californians also seem to have a love affair with their cars that nobody else can figure out, too. But to shirk efficiency just because one car feels nicer than another? If you're willing to pay the price, I guess that's your business, but when the majority of people feel that way then it's pretty detrimental to innovation and societal trends. If everyone were still big on SUVs and other fuel-inefficient vehicles then we likely wouldn't see companies going for hybrids, including hybrid SUVs.

Quote:
It's a problem similar to world hunger. The way the ecology works makes it so that it takes 10 times the calories in feed to create the amount of calories present in whatever meat/fish you're eating. If we simply stopped producing meat and figured out a way to distribute the excess food created more evenly, world hunger would cease to exist as a problem. The problem with these solutions? Humans love meat and we also happen to love fast cars. It's just one of the many "human" factors that keeps society from running at perfect efficiency.
That's a very simplistic view on how to cure world hunger. Human love of cars is a non-issue, too. Even if they're regarded as a norm in American society, cars are a luxury in the world. People can do without them, and if it becomes too costly to use them then they won't be used.

Quote:
I do agree that more efficient automobiles is a good intermediate step, but in the US it's already happening. AFAIK, Toyota is unable to meet Prius demands in the US. Japanese automakers have basically devoted their entire marketing strategy around fuel economy and nothing else.
I love this one. You talk about how it's already happening in America, and then cite how Japanese automakers have been devoting their strategy around fuel efficiency.
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Old 2008-08-21, 22:52   Link #35
solomon
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I admit, while we do need more alternative fuel in the states. How long will it take to replace gasoline as the main cog in our transportation agenda?


Well, heres my view on the Public Transport schtick.

PT is best developed on a metro area level. Naturally different areas will have different types of PT systems. Dallas I think has potential, it was originally a major railway hub. Couldn't it utilize existing track for DART and TRE expansion?

Of course, kickass PT can't work unless a majority of Metro Areas are willing to cooperate. I read that Phoenix's Valley Metro and Atlanta's MARTA suffer from lack of funds due to lack of regional cooperation.

Also to a certain extent, interconnectivity of regional hubs is a good idea where feasable. The argument against nationwide European style PT in the US is a fair one in the short term, it's too expensive and is probably better if left to the states. The states, short of natural disaster or impending doom are HORRIBLY slow and meandering when adressing problems such as these due to conflicting interest. Thusly, what's good for Chicago isn't good for Houston.

However, people have found out that when the gas prices go up, they see an alternative but complain about bad service due to lack of adequate funding (this is a two way street, both local govt and taxpayers have been complacent/disinterested).

See this article from the Detroit Free Press, particularly the first and fourth columns;
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...e=CITIES032008

While it is true that Amtrak has been shafted too many times over the years so that it couldn't deal with the higher ridership it's experienced recently. That being said the interstate highway system, for longer road trips still is terribly convienient, I'm not an avid driver but I still see it's advantages in such a large country. (I wonder how Russia does though? Especially with it's huge area and population.)

Easily the NE corridor is the best example of interconnectivity. Unless I am mistaken the Acela (high speed train) allegedly is a good alternative to planes. Plus it's possible to commute from say Philly to NYC via interconnected PT. (some people do go that route). The Urbanized Great Lakes Region is another place that could use work on interconnectivity too. (That's all part of a larger urban/regional cooperation/planning issue that should be addressed).

Naturally, Texas will develop differently, as will California and other large western cities, due to regional hubs (Denver, Phoenix, St. Louis) being surrounded by sparsley populated , sometimes poorer areas (particularly the Great Plains). I think there, the car and airplane will still be the best bet. Don't know much about the Pacific Northwest though.

Cars are no way gonna dissapear over night. They will still be an integral part of American Lifestyle, particularly in cross country/interstate transport (frieght or passenger) or in simply getting to places that are too poor/far out to be served by a PT system.

However, if people are tired of sitting around in gridlock on I-95, or the Golden Gate Bridge just to get to the office everyday, people should really start thinking about MAYBE JUST MAYBE forking over a teeny bit more of their money for PT WHERE IT'S FEASABILE. It's not the magic answer for every region, but I think in CERTAIN regions; it's underdeveloped and marginalized and in need of support from taxpayers/governments.

Last edited by solomon; 2008-08-21 at 23:11.
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Old 2008-08-21, 23:08   Link #36
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I pretty much agree with you, Ledgem. The intellligence and technology have been in place for years, but the people getting fat from a cheap and abundant energy source are the ones holding the cards. If they ain't broke, they don't need to fix anything. This is why nothing ever changes until people stop being as willing to pay for things.

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That's a very simplistic view on how to cure world hunger. Human love of cars is a non-issue, too. Even if they're regarded as a norm in American society, cars are a luxury in the world. People can do without them, and if it becomes too costly to use them then they won't be used.
Simple, but true, at least from a caloric intake standpoint. Something around an additional 2 billion people could be fed from what we are now feeding livestock (corn and soybeans. we already grow too damn much corn, thus I hope this biodiesel idea dies quickly), which should be eating grass anyway.And sadly, cars are as close to a neccessity as you can get without being a biological need in some places in America. Urban sprawl+high cost of living+no public transportation to speak of=need a car.

Got 10.33 gallons on US$40 this morning. As a Southern Californian, I've been feeling the high gas prices before the rest of the country for years now. So less gas for my money and more Schadenfreude.
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Old 2008-08-21, 23:10   Link #37
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Don't take this the wrong way, but these all sound like excuses for not transitioning to something new. Oil was easier? It'll take a long time to transition? I don't think so. We already have an electric infrastructure in place should we switch to electric vehicles. Should we change to hydrogen, we already have refueling stations. The stations would need to be refitted for electric or hydrogen, and production for electricity or hydrogen would need to be altered to fit the new demand.
Ok, and just how long is it going to take in order to make that transition and what will it take to mass-commercialize it for feasible consumer use? In the history of the automobile, steam engines were first created and used in the 1700s and were effective means to mobilize something through the use of a reactive power source but were highly inefficient in the time it took for them to condense and create enough pressure, and because of that, were damn heavy...Cue to the late 1800s and you have yourself the first internal combustible engine that runs on gas, and were lightweight and more efficient, but you wouldn't see cars being mass-produced or gas becoming a readily-available fuel until just after the 1900s...

Obviously electric cars and hydrogen cars are feasible since they're done on scale-life tests in controlled situations...But that's a controlled scale test...There's a reason why hydrogen would make such a damn great power source, and that's because it's highly reactive when properly with oxygen...Gasoline needs an ignition to react, but hydrogen just needs oxygen to react...Before putting out hydrogen for the citizens, people need to find a way first to make it idiot-proof and safe for mass commercial use...After that, you need to start building up from scratch, mass-produce ICEs that properly run on hydrogen, and make it feasible so that consumers can be able to buy it...Like gas-powered engines, it's going to probably take a while, though maybe a little while longer, because hydrogen is a gas and takes a bit more effort to condense into liquid form than it does to extract gas from oil...And when I say long-term, I stress long-term; As with any new product, it's going to be expensive as hell, but will become feasibly cheaper the longer they stay in production and the more consumers buy of the product...It's a fine mix between economics and engineering...

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In other words, if people aren't feeling the pinch now, there'll be nothing but lack of motivation and procrastination. Or do you think that the reason that cars haven't changed much over the past 100 years was because of technological limitations? You seem pretty knowledgable about them, so I'd expect that you're aware that hydrogen-powered cars and hybrids are far from new concepts.
Technological limitations only extend to as far as the engineer can create...I don't exactly know what kind of technological advancement you're looking for, though; While OHC engines are seemingly more sophisticated than OHV engines, OHC engines were in production for a lot longer than OHV engines...And even at the same time, the same basic concept of the IC engine hasn't changed much; Cars that are hybrids or hydrogen-powered still draw from the same basic concept without much or any alteration other than the fact that they use a different source of energy, and even hybrids are nothing more than an uber-battery assisting a normal IC engine...When we get nuclear-powered cars, then we'll see what the real definition of "technological limitation" is...

And no, hydrogen and hybrids not new, but at the same time, if they're not new, then where did that motivation and procrastination come from? BMW and GM and other car manufacturers were looking into hydrogen cars before gas even rose above $2/gallon, and solar panels were around for just as long if not just as longer...Obviously the ingenuity is there; The process of delivery is just going to take a while...

Quote:
Hybrids in particular are damn sensible concepts that should have been around as soon as lithium ion battery technology matured (and maybe even before then), but you didn't see car makers making a big deal out them until the public began scrambling for them. That happened with the price of gas started skyrocketing. There was virtually no innovation in the automotive field until the pinch started occurring.
And hybrids don't make too much practical sense if you think about other automotive alternatives right next to them that don't use any innovations...

Take, for example, an 8th generation Honda Civic that comes in both a conventional version and a hybrid version...The conventional Civic DX/LX/EX has a 140hp 1.8 L R18A1 I4 engine while the Civic Hybrid has a 110hp 1.3 L LDA-MF5 I4 engine with an IMA engine...The Civic LX/DX/EX get a fuel economy rating of 25/36mpg while the Hybrid gets 40/45mpg...That's good though, right? Well of course, but it doesn't come cheap, when you consider that the MSRP of the Civic DX/LX/EX is about $15,405-$23,555 while the Hybrid goes for $23,550-$26,750...Lithium ion batteries are not cheap to produce, especially when you consider not only the battery itself, but the overall powertrain, to hook both the engine and battery up into a single coordinated power assembly and then create a transmission that can properly convert the battery's power to be delivered to the ground...It would take at least 3 years to break even the cost in gas in driving a Hybrid over driving an LX/DX/EX...

Other conventional sub-compact cars achieve the same price:fuel economy aspect...Take a look at any of the cars on the market, like the Ford Ka, Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Smart, Scion xA, the list goes on...They're not exactly hybrid-level in fuel economy, but they achieve damn close to hybrid levels while still selling for thousands less because their drivetrains are not as technologically sophisticated, save for the variable valve and camshaft timing...VTEC probably did more to fuel economy for the masses than the lithium-ion battery did...Their production costs are relatively cheap to produce...Why pay so much for the battery when you can get the same effects for less?

Now I know hybrids are more about the innovation than they are about the practicality and cost, but then again, it's like I said, the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid have been out for almost a decade now, and they still need a lot more consumers to start buying them before their production cost and thus their MSRPs start to significantly go down and become feasible and affordable to more Americans...Compare that to other things like hydrogen-powered cars, and take note that hybrids are already feasible (For whatever they're worth as far as significant impact after fuel economy goes)...

Quote:
Where's the money for our war coming from? How about instead of pissing away trillions per month on a fruitless war, we do something similar on national infrastructure and research? As for cheap now and displaced later, won't happen. If you aren't put through pain and feel forced to become more efficient and innovative, you won't do it. It's a rule of nature that relates, ironically, to energy efficiency.
Where do you think the alternative energy resource projects have been coming from in the last decade? Surely no private citizen has the funds without government aid to research that stuff...

I'm not saying this all is impossible, I'm just saying that there's no magic wand to the situation in something that's going to realistically take a while to implement regardless of "motivation" and that people need to look at both the short-term and long-term solutions to the energy problem...
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Old 2008-08-21, 23:12   Link #38
solomon
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Originally Posted by tenken627 View Post
Cool. NoVa here as well, Fairfax County.

Gas Prices have slowly been dropping lately now that the peak summer time season is coming to an end.


But, people think gas prices all over the world are high?

Just wait until India's "Nano" car ("The world's cheapest car") comes out officially for sale this fall. It's a new car from Tata Motors that only costs $2,500 (US $), and is supposed to revolutionize India, by being affordable to millions of Indians who never have owned a car.

That's another nation of 1.1 billion people to compete with in oil, in addition to China's ever-growing energy demand.

I do think that many of the criticisms around the developed countries (particularly from the U.S.) against India and the Nano are hypocritical, America needs to cut back on its own gas-guzzling needs. And I don't know if it's the making of a "global environmental and economic disaster" as some people say.

But, the addition of millions of millions of cars basically overnight isn't something to scoff at either.

Hey tenken, which part of the county you in, Im in Alexandria, Near Fort Belvior.

Nice area, but traffic is murder at peak time.
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Old 2008-08-21, 23:18   Link #39
tenken627
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Originally Posted by solomon View Post
Hey tenken, which part of the county you in, Im in Alexandria, Near Fort Belvior.

Nice area, but traffic is murder at peak time.
Right now I'm in Reston, but I used to live in Annandale, Fairfax, and Arlington.

Yeah, the traffic in the whole Washington D.C. area is always ranked near the top along with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Houston (the 5 usual suspects).

But, at least the DC area has a good subway system, which I took all the time to work in Bethesda, MD. Now that I'm further out in the suburbs, it's a pain driving everywhere.
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Old 2008-08-22, 00:28   Link #40
Spectacular_Insanity
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Gas is currently $3.69 per gallon here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Prices went down for some reason, though I'm not complaining. I remember when my Dad swore to me he would never pay $2.00 per gallon, lol. I think he would be happy to pay that now.

Too bad we can't get those cool European imports cars. I heard some newer Japanese or VW cars in the works for 2009 are supposed to get 100+ mpg or something. I think they are a temporary solution at best, a unsubstantiated rumor at worst. I think the currently most fuel-efficient car out there is the VW 1-liter car (it uses only 1 liter per 100 km - click link for more information), which translates to a whopping 285 mpg!! And it's NOT A HYBRID! Meaning it can save a lot of gas for those peaple who live far away from work (and for whom hybrids don't do much good anyway). In any case, it seems to be a prototype, and I don't know how it will be received by the general market, but I pray it and other cares like it will be widely used until an alternative energy solution can be found.

Okay, next I'm going to rant a bit, so you can skip over this last part unless you're actually interested in what I have to say.

[rant]
I'm extremely frustrated with American car companies, and I have ever since I've been old enough to understand how important fuel efficiency and alternative energy sources are to our future. Dumb Americans can't think 5 minutes in front of their faces, and didn't even think about fuel efficiency until it started to hurt their pocketbooks. Now they're bitching about gas prices, when it's due to their own complacency. They were the ones buying stupid vehicles like the H3, and the car companies were stupid enough to keep making them. They don't even know the definition of "fuel efficiency". I don't care about their quarterlies, because now that the market for big vehicles (and yes, for those who don't know, bigger vehicles do indeed get worse gas mileage) has fallen through, now they're playing catch up in an industry at which they should have been the forefront 30 years ago. While GM, Ford, and other car companies are struggling to even get the basics of fuel efficiency, VW, Honda, Toyota, and other foreign car companies are so far ahead, those companies playing catch-up can't even see their dust trail. Frankly, I kind of think they got what they deserved.

Not that gas companies are helping any. They buy up alternative energy patents and sit on them, twidling their thumbs while the world's cash goes into their pockets. It pisses me off, and I wish I knew what I could do to make them pay it all back, if that's even possible, which i doubt.
[/rant]

Okay I'm done with my rant. Sorry you had to bear witness to that ugliness back there, but I had to get it out of my system somehow.
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