Transit is Dead, Hail the Self-Driving Car

In our rush to apologize for a late Thursday post, ratpag somehow double-published an apology. At first ratpag thought maybe that we could count one of those posts as Friday, but then ratpag realized that’s lazy. Laziness kills the five-days-a-week blog of irreverent trivia loosely related to transit.

Speaking of transit: it’s dead. Self-driving cars killed it. See, on a bus you have to wait agonizing minutes in the cold for it to show up. Then you have to sit next to undesirables. They smell bad, and they’re in a lower social class. Service is spotty and unpredictable. Clearly the only solution is to completely eliminate it, because if it can’t survive on a shoestring budget, it really shouldn’t exist.

Self-driving cars, though, that’s different. You don’t have to wait anymore. Transit comes to you. Movement is effortless, you even sleep in the car!

To get the big environmental benefits, we’ll need to transition to smaller, need-specific vehicles that can be rented per use. For commutes, this would be a one-seater. It’s like a motorcycle, but more unstable.



With a smaller vehicle to store, this will allow people to live in higher density areas like apartments. Personally, the only thing keeping me from moving from my single-family home in the suburbs to a more expensive, tiny apartment in the city is paying for parking. Having an effortless door-to-door commute would encourage me to move into a studio, yes.

Let’s keep going with the one-seater. You could even physically link to other one-seater vehicles so you’re right next to them, operating as one larger vehicle. Put a couple side by side, some in a line. Group them together so that they have similar destinations. Maybe charge a small user-fee to join one to cover road maintenance and the extra fuel usage for the lead vehicles. Let’s designate the lead vehicle as “driver” ultimately responsible for maneuvering in traffic.


No! Ours has walls, remember?


No! It has interior walls, so you don’t have to smell anyone.


What about the last-mile problem? And ratpag doesn’t feel like walking, either.


Oh so now ratpag have to buy a $300 bike? Autonomous vehicles are free!


Besides, $300 is too cheap! We need a higher barrier of entry. It should cost at least $30,000 for a sensored autonomous vehicle to participate. Remember: the point is to get away from lower social classes. How am I going to tolerate the smell of someone who can’t get a decent rate on a bank loan?

Check mate!


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