Driving-Addiction Treatment

How Australia pried people from their cars.

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Australia is as car-happy as the US, yet in the city of Perth, drivers have stepped out of their autos in record numbers. A 12-year-old public program called TravelSmart trims an estimated 30 million car trips each year and has increased annual transit boardings by more than 4 million. That translates into a yearly savings of 88 thousand tons of C02 and 5 million gallons of gas.

How did TravelSmart do it? The program targets uncommitted drivers—those who acknowledge in surveys that they’re open to walking or transit—with tenacious, individualized campaigns. Workers assess a person’s transit needs and provide bicycle maps, bike-shop coupons, walking tours, discounted transit passes, and bus schedules. Staff then follow up by phone, letter, or in person, sometimes up to a dozen times, to make sure the information has been understood and utilized. Through sheer persistence, TravelSmart has slashed total car miles traveled in Perth by 13 percent. And word is spreading: At least six US cities and six more in Europe are trying similar programs. “People want to be part of the solution,” says Werner Brög, TravelSmart’s founder. “They just don’t know how.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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