Larry Myers

Daily Note

November 22, 2023

The AAA forecast for Thanksgiving travel underscores how dependent we still are on cars for transit. There’s a bright spot in that train travel is growing faster than car travel for the holiday, but it’s still a small sliver compared to the amount of people traveling by car. You can’t blame people though, they have no other option. Thanksgiving tends to be family gathering in large numbers, which means the person with the largest house usually hosts. That fact alone means getting out to the suburbs, car required.

Even if we could ride the Brown Line to Union Station, and Amtrak to Indianapolis, we’d still need a cab to backtrack to the northern suburbs. Round trip for my family would be $20 for the CTA, $200 for Amtrak, and $100 for Uber. All for the priviledge of a multi-modal trip at an inconvienent time requiring 12 hours of travel, instead of the 7 hours our car ride will take for the round trip. We also leave when we want, have private travel accomodations, and it’s door to door. The cost will only be around $40 of charging along the way at any of the frequent supercharger locations along the way.

I’m not sure anybody could justify 800% the cost and 170% the time to use transit over a private car for the trip.