There has been a continued debate on the efficiency of public transport. Despite the different perspectives surrounding the subject, it is clear that the use of public transport can help solve some of the problems that continue to shroud the world. According to statistics, many nations in the world continue to suffer from carbon emissions and congestion due to the high reliance on public transportation. This study will look at how public transportation can be improved in the cities. The paper will also focus on the pros and cons of public transport to the common citizens as well as the private and public sector. Moreover, this study shall review literature on public transport policies that have been implemented elsewhere and how they have been effective. In the end, this study will give recommendations on how to encourage cities to adopt public transportation for sustainable economic growth.
Public transport involves the use of mass transportation in urban and rural areas. Buses and trains are the commonly known methods of public transportation in the world. Moreover, they are the oldest forms of transportation. In the current world, time has become an essential and expensive commodity. It is also a general feeling that public transportation is not time conscious (McGuckin, 2008). Given this negative views, public transportation continues to lag behind a many see it as inefficient. However, public transportation can help the citizens in numerous ways. Some of the advantages of this system include cutting on fuel cost, curbing pollution, easing congestion, and increasing productivity. This study shall therefore look at how public transport shall be enhanced to cater for the needs of the emerging economy.
The world economy has experienced a boom in the recent times. There is development in almost all sectors of life. Currently, there is increased productivity and the middle class has significantly grown (McGuckin, 2008).This is attributed to the economic growth in the world. This growth is felt with a great magnitude in urban areas. Urban towns host the highest number of middle-income families. These people work in big companies and earn a good salary. Such has enabled them to purchase personal cars as they can easily afford them. On the other hand, car companies continue to produce better and cheaper cars, which are affordable (Mcclare, 2008). This has significantly increased the number of private cars in the public domain. Consequently, there has been a lot of congestion and inefficiency on the roads. This warrants the implementation of a system that is eco friendly, socially acceptable, and cheap.
Additionally, private cars have made the cost of fuel to increase significantly. This is because there is a high demand for the commodity. The cost of parking in the urban areas has almost tripled in the last one year. This is caused by the increase in the number of personal vehicles (Mcclare, 2008).
Significance of the Study
This study will help come up with the solution to the crisis that is the public sector. It is evident that there is a lot that needs to be done to improve the lives of citizens in every community. More so, with the rising cost of living and the harsh economic times, it is necessary that people adapt their lifestyles to fit the changing times. This study will look at the possible solutions to transportation in major cities and towns. Further, this essay will explore the advantages of public transport in a bid to encourage more citizens to embrace public transport as a way of transportation as opposed to private means of transportation.
Why Use Public Transport
Public transport will help solve many of the problems listed above. To begin with, use of commuter trains and buses will help reduce congestion in the cities. The growth of the world’s population coupled with rural urban migration has caused the population in cities and towns to increase considerable. In fact, some cities in the world like Hongkong are home to more than forty million people (Zielinski, 2012). This means that the cities are getting congested by the day. There is hardly any ground to develop houses and people are resulting to building skyscrapers to make up for the little ground space. In every urban population, a vehicle is something that every working class citizen can afford. Allowing all these people to drive into cities and towns will only lead to more congestion (Zielinski, 2012). Therefore, the urban populace should be encouraged to leave their vehicles at home especially during working days and use a common means of transport to work. This will reduce significantly the amount of traffic flowing into the cities and towns.
By reducing flow of traffic to cities and towns, public transport will save on fuel costs. It is common knowledge that the fuel consumption of a vehicle that is stalled in traffic is more than that of a moving vehicle. Countries and especially the United States of America are trying to save on fuel costs. This is because fuel, which America outsources from other foreign nations, is expensive and costs the government a lot of revenue. Public transportation such as the use of rail and buses can help to ease the current fuel consumption on our roads. This is because trains and buses use up little fuel on the road as compared to high powered personal machines (Zielinski, 2012). Therefore, reducing fuel costs will enable the government and the citizens to channel their resources to other worthwhile projects.
On this note, there are towns, which do not have public transport networks. Such towns should be encouraged to put up public road network. Such can help to ease the current dependence on private transportation that has devastating effects on the environment. By reducing the number of vehicles on the road, public transport will also help in curbing environmental pollution. Simply put, the fewer the number of vehicles on the road, the fewer the carbon emissions (McGuckin, 2008). In addition, fewer vehicles on the road will lead to a reduction of noise pollution.
Reducing congestion and traffic gridlocks will amount to more productivity among the citizens. This is because buses and trains will save most drivers the energy of driving to and from work in traffic. The energy that drivers would have used driving can be projected into other work related activities leading to higher productivity. Another advantage is that people will be able to work en route to their work places (Mcclare, 2008). With the advancement of technology, many people can now work online. People can file reports, compile notes, and even have conferences online. People can do these things in buses and trains as they go to work instead of waiting until they reach their workplaces. An increase in working hours will increase the economic output and hence boost the economy.
For this development to take place, several institutions should be involved in the execution of this project. To begin with, the government should allocate more money in the budget to go towards funding the construction of railway and bus systems. The government should put in place policies that favor public transport as opposed to private means to encourage more people to use public possible. By constructing fast, efficient, and effective railway systems, most people will be willing to leave their vehicles at home for the faster public means of transport (Zielinski, 2012).
Secondly, the government should collaborate with the private sector to ensure cost effective means of transportation. The buses that will be introduced should be able to operate effectively but efficiently. In fact, the overall cost of public transport should be lower than that of private transport. Since the government will not be running the bus companies, the private sector should work hard to raise the level of efficiency in the bus sectors. They should ensure that they have efficient staff, clean bus interiors, as well as specific take off, and arrival times. This will ensure the reliability of the public transport therefore encouraging more people to embrace it (McGuckin, 2008).
In addition, to reduce the number of personal vehicles on the roads, the government should increase the levies on personal car use around cities and towns (McGuckin, 2008). Such levies include cost of parking tickets in towns and cities. The cost of daytime parking in cities and towns should be high to discourage motorists from bringing their vehicles into town. On this point, the government should change its policies to include the construction of more bike, bus, and railway terminus opposed to parking lots in towns and cities. Lack of parking space will discourage motorists from driving into towns.
Even after the introduction of public transport, those who still do not favor public transport should also come together and arrange car-pooling services (Zielinski, 2012). If children from two or more households attend the same school, then their parents should use one vehicle to drop their children to school. Parents working within towns and cities can also uses one vehicle to and from work. This will help to reduce congestion and environmental pollution. Carpooling will require co-operation and goodwill from participants for it to succeed.
Perhaps the most important step that the government and the community should take to ensure that this project takes root is to conduct civic education to the masses. This is because many people think that using their personal vehicles is prestigious and a status symbol (Mcclare, 2008). For public transport to be executed successfully, people have to change their mindset. They should realize that public transport is not for the poor in the society. On the contrary, they should to understand that public transport would result to a better economy and a healthier and more productive society.
Although there has been public transportation in the world, less people are interested in using it. This is due to the dogmatic thinking and propaganda shrouding the sector. Many continue to reject public transport because it is inefficient. However, there are towns and big cities, which have set up the right systems for public transportation, and they are working. New York, California, Maryland, and Baltimore have efficient public transportation network. This has significantly improved the cities and their environmental niche. The continued snubbing of public transport has led to irrevocable damage on the ecosystem. Personal cars have polluted and escalated global warming to unreasonable levels. Embracing public transport is the solution to environmental and economic problems in any city in the world.
Mcclare, J. (2008). United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway
Administration. Retrieved Nov 2013, from Highway Statistics 2005:
McGuckin, N. S. (2008). Journey to Work in the United States and Its Major Metropolitan Areas
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Zielinski, S. (2012). Advancing Safe and Sustainable Transportation. Michigan.