No politician will touch this, there simply aren't enough courageous ones that will tell the people to take mass transit and get lean biking. Most voters are fat people that live in the suburbs with three cars and can't go anywhere without driving. We are talking about a major life style change and loss of a way of life that has been ingrained in these people since the end of WWII.
It will take vision, courage and a lot of work to make people WALK to a bus stop, wait, pay a fair and sometimes have to stand or sit next to someone they think is going to rape them. don't ask me how do I know because I always seem to get a seat and have the ones next to me stay empty even if the bus is full, I just don't know why, anyway back to the subject mass transit will need competent management and operation which is not the case in most cities in our country. This means we must look into this as a new science rather than patching.
Mass transit will work for urban cities and even metro areas that have high densities of burbs but if you take every metro area in the US, and every city with 100,000 or more, you only are dealing with 75,000,000 of the population. That leaves 225,000,000 in towns of less than 100,000 which would have a hard time supporting any kind of mass transit system.
And once you factor out the cities on the list that already have mass transit incorporated into their infrastructure, you are looking at less than 50M people out of 300M that could be addresses with mass transit. While I DO like the concept of addressing that group, the need is to look at the 200M that are NOT addressed by this solution.
I listened to an interesting proposal this evening. It boiled down to 1) reduce payroll and corporate taxes and 2) increase taxes on energy consumption. In the process make no tax increase on taxpayers as the energy consumption tax would be offset by the reduction in payroll tax. Total revenues would remain static.
The goal of this idea was to leverage folks into looking at their energy consumption and allowing them to guide their tax savings based on their decisions and not simply fix their payroll taxes to where they had no control of their taxes. It is an interesting concept.