> 1) Speed comparable, if not faster than cars.
I don't know if that's realistic or necessary. There's a lot to be said for being able to skip the hassle of driving, parking and etc. I'd even be fine with a 20% time penalty vs. driving. More than that, though, and the car really starts to look preferable.
> 2) Convenient public transportation
This. Plus, it needs to be convenient for all of my travel needs, not just going to and from a job downtown (For which it works fine for me.) It also needs to be able to get me to and from the supermarket and run often enough that there's room for me to bring two grocery bags home with me. Otherwise, car. Likewise for other errands and transit needs.
I'll throw in a third requirement:
3) Accurate timetables that are adhered to. A big problem here in San Francisco is that MUNI operators/drivers consider the published timetable to be somewhere between merely a suggestion and an open joke; and their union is so strong it's basically impossible to punish them for failing to adhere to it. So on-time performance is appalling on most routes, meaning that you can't count on items 1 or 2.
> Otherwise, you need to start imposing costs on
> using the car - as in expensive parking.
This is what San Francisco is trying. They're taking away parking and raising prices on what's left. They tried charging on Sundays, but that caused much outrage and got canned. And they're taking away traffic lanes on many roads. City Hall *claims* to be practicing a "transit first" policy. But what they are NOT doing is reforming and rebuilding MUNI into a service that people would happily choose to use.