Just about a year ago, Charlotte opened it's first rail line, the LYNX Blue Line. It was a big deal for a lot of reasons. Not the least of which being that it has far-surpassed the ridership forecasts its supporters had (much to the chagrin of people who think we should just pave more highway b/c, as Los Angeles has shown us, more lanes means traffic moves. Oh, wait...).
Anyhow, I just did a tally. I've kept most of my train tickets for the year just for this purpose. Give or take a few trips on top of this, I have spent $51.10 on transportation from South Charlotte to Uptown. Parking is free at the transit stops. That's about 19 trips Uptown.
Usually, parking up there can run anywhere from $5-$10, depending. So let's say, conservatively, if I had driven instead of taken the train, I would have spent $133 on parking up there. That's uh... some savings over driving.
Furthermore, it's about a 20-mile round trip to Uptown. I get 40 miles/gallon on the highway, but I often don't take the highway if I have to drive Uptown. So we'll say I averaged 28 mpg on trips to/from Uptown. That means I would have used an entire tank of gas on Uptown trips this year, when I crunch the numbers. So add the cost of a tank to that savings.
So... why are there still people who don't support mass transit? Or is it simply because those people are afraid they might have to sit next to a stranger?