TTAC's Robert Farago skewers public transportation. Then TTAC's Colin Murchie skewers Robert Farago's piece. All good fun.
But the point is not necessarily which system of transport is more environmentally friendly, or even more cost effective. We are not necessarily economic creatures. Public transportation sucks because we have to be sitting flesh to flesh with strangers, who don't bathe, or have bizarre body ornaments, or are listening to Eminem so loudly on their headphones you can here every expletive two seats over.
Americans love cars, and are cool to public transportation because we love the freedom to go where we want, when we want, and with as few passengers as we want.
What we need is a compromise between individuality and efficiency. Fast public transportation around dense urban areas, and wide highways running in between them. Places to park your car on the outskirts if you are going to stay all day, and convenient (though expensive) parking if you just need to visit for an hour.
And (in Michigan) fix the effing potholes!