The difference in cost? Well at around $94 a barrel right now the percentage of difference in price is slight... but...
Psychologically what does this do? People are still driving to work, and I bet that few have given up cars based on the price of gas (for daily commutes, vacations are another thing), but at what price do people question their own consumption?
Last week in Washington we had a vote for a new road bill. The bill had a lot of mass transit tossed in to counter the impression that it was only a road bill, but in the end it was a road bill.
It was also a bill to extend 520, and as far as I am concerned I am not voting for anything which widens the road going through the arboretum or damages the arboretum in any other way.
I would rather vote separately on mass transit and roads. Sure, they work hand in hand, but I am willing to shell out more for rail then what I am for roads.
If oil hits a certain price then mass transit has to pick up, which in theory could lower road usage (though this is a naive view of what the outcome is... where there is capacity someone will use it). If I figure in total cost though... I help pay for the roads and then I pay for the gas, how does this compare to me paying for a share mass transit plus a ticket?
There is a shared cost in either case, roads or mass transit. For those who just drive, mass transit is mitigation costs. Mitigate the need for more roads (or hell... more open space for driving faster).
How this will work out in my lifetime?
Two more years before I can take light rail to SeaTac.
And if I were to dream a bit?
Within 15 years Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver are tied together with a European style bullet train. The cities would be linked together.
30 years out? San Francisco to Seattle via a bullet train. Have it run around 300 miles per hour. Link the economies of the west coast together.