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Entries in Commuting (4)


The Public Transportation Experience

In the auto business, public transportation is far removed from your radar. Using public transportation is a reminder of going to school decades earlier before having a car.

At the same time there are thousands of folks in the suburbs that use public transportation on a daily basis.

We hear of urban living, sharing economy, the emergence of self driving vehicles, limited parking, congestion, usage of public transportation.

Last week we had the opportunity to experience public transportation by taking a GO bus to Union Station in Toronto, then a Via train from Union Station to London. This was all done at early hours in the morning.

Its a great way to gain insight on how other generations (younger) experience mobility.

The Colonel who has not touched public transportation in decades is on an early morning mission.

What caught our attention about the GO bus.

> We travelled 55 kilometers on the bus. The fare and the cost of gas is almost the same.

> A bus is a shared self driving vehicle.

> The walks to catch connecting transportation is good exercise.

> It begs the question why would you want to drive.

> Folks park their vehicles to take the bus or the train.

In the various discussions on self driving vehicles, we conveniently forget that GO buses from a passenger perspective are comparable to a self driving vehicle.

What caught our attention about the Via train.

> We travelled 190 kilometers on the train from Union Station. The fare is almost 3 times the price of gas.

> Same thing a train is a shared self driving vehicle.

> Yes...with Wifi, power outlets, food and beverage service, bathroom.

> You get to see a different perspective of the scenery.

> Its relaxing, and you can engage in another activity than driving.

The time difference between driving and public transportation? Its almost the same time, and dramatically more relaxing with PT than having to drive on some of the busiest roads in the GTA.




Fuel Economy Reality

404 Southbound at the 401By now you know that we have an inherent affection for V8's, and The Colonel has never owned vehicles that made a statement towards fuel economy.

Here is the deal.

We constantly hear one comment or another towards fuel economy, and for the past few months the price of gas, and anything and everything that can be mentioned in between.

If you live in a major urban area you certainly endure traffic, congestion, and taking double the time to travel any distance. It struck us that with all the talk of fuel economy, the transportation infrastructure is totally against fuel economy.

Back to the V8, the other day we travelled 32 kilometers at an average speed of 28 KPH, generating a fuel economy of 18L per 100 kilometers. There were hundreds if not thousands of other vehicles in the same situation...

The car used almost 6 liters of gas over $7.00 to crawl in highway congestion....with cheaper gas saved about $2.00 while using the same amount of time. Time is the most precious commodity.

Manufacturers have to meet fuel economy standards, which by the way have altered in favor of larger vehicles. Perhaps CMS (Citizen Main Street) uses fuel economy as a purchase or lease decision. Mind you with the rash of SUV/CUV and pick ups it leads one to question the importance of fuel economy in the decision process.

While the vehicle transportation infrastructure of any urban center is totally counter productive towards fuel economy. There is no longer a specific rush hour, now its 24/7 of heavy or congested.

If you factor in the thousands of folks that use one form or another of public transportation and park their vehicles in the various commuter parking lots. Imagine all those folks on the road with their vehicle, making a contribution towards increased congestion and even poorer fuel economy.

The fuel economy of any vehicle is dramatically impacted by the transportation infrastructure.




Vroom Room 

Good Morning!

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, we have cappuccino and biscotti hopefully you will join the conversation. 

By now you know that The Colonel was away for a few days...or what seemed like a few days to him, he is back fully immersed in reality and going strong.

We absolutely urge to take some time off, unplug, disconnect, change scenery, focus on the simpler or is it the essentials of life. We highly recommend the experience.

By the frequency of advertising in mid October, we had the feeling that it was developing into a strong month for most manufacturers. We continue to be impressed by Hyundai/Kia which have not missed a beat this year, while our bewilderment with GM increases on a monthly basis. The underlying strategy of all manufacturers was to start the last quarter of the year aggressively to immediately gain sales. 

We often wondered why Suzuki still bothers to sell vehicles with the dismall sales figures they generate in Canada. Seems that the US unit has seen the light, and has stopped selling vehicles. In Canada Suzuki reinforced their commitment to continue selling vehicles. What do you think?

We had the unique opportunity of experiencing mild effects of Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbeans for 3 days, quickly realizing "this thing is big", to watching the devastation in the Eastern US, to contacting home in Toronot to ensure that all was safe.

One quickly realisizes that there are forces that are completely beyond human efforts, although in a connected world we might think that we are in control, we remain frail compared to what nature can unleash. A fascinating photo gallery of Hurricane Sandy

Have you noticed the flow of free advice given to Barack Obama, as we always say, its impertive to be your own editor and make sense of the various opinions from the myriad of pundits.

An informative infographic on commuting by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Better Transportation Options=Healthier Lives.

If you are in Windsor and have an urge for Italian food, visit Da Luciano Trattoria on Erie Street, great food, friendly service.

Our ususl old race cars from the Luigi Musso Historical Grand Prix.





The Green Light

Are the commentaries prescient...or is it that some things never change?