"Perhaps the most telling measurement of a transport system' convenience is a hard, cold winter rain: any gaps in what shold be comprehensive service become brutally apparent. there is nothing like queuing up at an unsheltered bus stop in this kind of weather to make one wish for a true door-to-door transport system." Quoted from Tabor R. Stone, Beyond the Automobile, Reshaping the Transportation Environment, Prentice-Hall, 1971, pg. 105-106.
One way of looking at the auto-industrial age is it is a huge social machine built around the extraction and burning of petroleum.
The micro-economic analysis of time, distance and the value of personal time shows that the private automobile simply can't be beat for enabling long daily drives, which in turn enables many people to earn the most money given their specific skills.
That driving, in turn results in thousands of pounds of petroleum being burned per year per car per solitary driver.
To put one's finger very precisely on one practice that needs to be drastically revised: We need to cut the rate of petroleum burning. How much?
Suppose we say the goal is for American society to use 10% as much petroleum in 50 years.
x = .1^^50 # What number multiplied by itself 50 times equals .1
x = .9550 # - 4.5% per year petroleum usage reduction