If you live in a small town like myself there are limitations to where you can go on the bus. And sometimes they only come around once a day early I'n the morning of course you need cars even though there are bus's! Transportation can stop you from going places and the excitement for when you turn 16 you can finally get your license to drive . Instead of having limitations to where you can go and when you mine as well have a car so you won't have those limitations.
The crux of this question is the term "need" and depending how that is defined, so the rest of the argument shall fall. I won't even pretend to be able to withstand it. However, I will say, the question overlooks potentially the best solution: BICYCLES!
I argue that "need" is supposedly a tight constraint, certainly tighter than "want", but through its grasping fingers still slips room for cars.
There are several reasons to need cars. Firstly, where public or otherwise unspecialized transportation fails to go, or is unsuitable. Can you create an example in your mind, any example, where a car would go where a rail is too costly to build, where a bus is too cumbersome to use, and where the environment is too dangerous for a motorbike or a bicycle, and any other form of specialized transit is simply not cost effective? If the answer is yes, or even a maybe, I think I've least won that round.
Confine the argument to cities and urban centers. Do we need cars? Again, there's that "need". You "need" to get out of the city and into the countryside in 1 hour. The next bus doesn't come for 10 minutes, it takes 12 minutes to get to the train terminal, 5 to get a ticket, 5 more to board, 20 minutes to get to the country stop and now you have 8 minutes to walk or bike to your destination. I hope it's close. Of course, you could leave sooner. You might not mind being late. Cars are late, too, I will acknowledge. Jams. But is there room for doubt?
Lastly, I have a right to own a car. I dare you to write a social contract that cuts out cars without also cutting out the right to happiness. Feel free to have a shot.
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Buses and trains don't take you to everywhere. For example, you were going to visit your family member's house. If he lives on the mountain, I don't think the bus will drive you up there. Buses and trains don't go everywhere. They only have certain routes. That is why I believe that cars are important even though we have public transportation.
Many major world cities' populations almost entirely use public transit rather than personal vehicles today. These cities include Tokyo, Osaka, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul (some of the most advanced in the world), London, Amsterdam (driving in city center is actually discouraged), and New York City among others. Since the beginning of civilization people have migrated to create urban centers and that trend continues today with cities around the world continuing to grow. Many people, if not the majority (which is common), who live in these cities are dependent on the public transit systems. In many of those cities listed above the public transit system is advanced and very available no matter where you live in the city. If you live toward the city center it is even encouraged that you use public transit rather than add to traffic congestion and pollution. Bicycling is encouraged in some major cities such as London and Amsterdam as an alternative form of personal transportation. Unfortunately, it appears that the American cities are largely behind in developing sophisticated public transit systems when compared to their counterparts in other countries like Japan or South Korea. I believe personal automobiles will become obsolete in the future in city living while public transit becomes even more prevalent, convenient, and advanced in the future.
People are just lazy. This is the sole reason why cars still exist despite the fact they pollute, create social exclusion, kill people through hitting them and through their fumes, create the largest market for the warmongering oil industry, prevent cycling, walking and public transport,cause noise pollution, lead to obesity, waste space with their parking, garages, petrol stations etc...