I’ve been surprised by the assumption that many people are making after reading the No Exit story –that I’m calling for everyone to get a car, and abandon public transportation. I suppose I should have added a "to be sure", line, as in "to be sure, cars-for-all will not solve this problem", but it just plum never occurred to me.
So here it is: to be sure, I am not saying that public transportation is evil, that some sort of a universal car program is the answer to the problem that I highlight in the story. Properly coordinated ahead of time, public transportation is probably much more efficient and effective than private transport at getting people out of harm’s way. To me, it also seems beyond question that public transit is better in day-to-day, non-emergency life –for the environment, for a community, and even for personal health. The point of my story wasn’t that all people should get cars, but rather, that emergency planners must take into account the more than 20 million people who do not have private transportation.