Well, I am not convinced by the auto ownership report that failed to include the purchase price (really!)
I think there's a lot about European behavior you're not taking into account - like the kind of car they actually buy (really small compared to ours) and what they use it for (often, just getting to the railroad station), and the clear indication that car ownership was because of their larger middle class which is itself an indication of better economic policies - like having good mass transit.
I think you have the tax picture wrong, and it's still the better-off people who are contributing the most to mass transit through their taxes.
Regarding the bus, I'm not convinced. The biggest problems are that it can't be connected to electricity efficiently (San Francisco's catenary busses can't exceed 40 MPH while on the wire, and rarely approach that speed because they share the route with cars), it is labor intensive compared to rail, and it has the traffic and safety issues of an automobile. And too often light rail is little better than a bus. It's only when there's an exclusive right-of-way that you get efficiency.
And ultimately there may still be people who vote against mass transit, but they are shooting themselves in the foot.