In various ways, cars are at the center of our oil dependence. Long term, well, many things are needed – more public transportation, new kinds of propulsion, reorganized cities, towns, and suburbs. Short term, anything that moves in that general direction.
Hoboken, NJ, is a small city across the Hudson River from mid-town Manhattan. Once a port and small-industrial city, now it’s a bedroom community for people working in New York City. Lots of them. And cars infest the streets. In the past couple of years the city has done two things to free its residents of cars: 1) they’ve partnered with Hertz to create a city-wide car-sharing program. According to the City “the first phase of this program is anticipated to remove more than 750 vehicles from Hoboken’s crowded streets.” 2) They’ve established a shuttle service that circumnavigates the city and is no more than a 5-minute walk from any resident. The shuttles are tracked by GPS, which can be followed on the web or through cell phone. Ridership has increased by 50% in the first 6 months of use.