Public transport refers to trains, buses, and other means of transport available to the public and which charge set fares and operate along fixed routes. Considering the role it plays, this form of transport is a vital part of every community. That is why most urban center authorities are providing incentives for city dwellers to use the local transit systems and leave their personal cars at home.
Public transport besides making economic sense are, provided they are run properly, reduce many problems faced by the metropolis particularly those with high car dependency.
Note that the mere presence of common forms of the public, like trains, buses, trams, and trolleys, does not determine the usefulness of this form of transport. The public transportation system must possess five principles of sustainability which are; affordability, accessibility, connectivity, holistic transportation coupled with land use planning and planning that incorporates environmental effects. Additionally, good public transport means should have many connections and high-frequency travel.
Importance of public transport
- Improves access; it accords people opportunities to travel and meet different other people. It improves access to employment, education and everything individuals need to become independent.
- Promotes physical exercising; you have to walk to the stage so as to board a public service bus. In so doing, you exercise and improve your physical fitness.
- Public service vehicles are safer private cars. Authorities require owners of such vehicles to maintain high safety standards and hence commuters are far much safer.
- Increase productivity; effective public transport system encourage geographical integration between employment and residential hubs increasing capacity to create wealth.
- Reduce congestions; a single bus can carry tens of people and still occupies almost the same space as some large personal vehicles. Public transport, therefore, reduces congestions on roads.
- Public transport reduces pollutions in urban centers. Besides being in good conditions as required, they minimize the emissions that several cars would emit to the environment.
- Increase mobility of people who can’t drive themselves around. Children and the elderly who cannot drive depend on public transport to take them places.
- Public transport promotes constructive interactions and discussions between neighbors thus encouraging oneness in the society.
- Public transport tends to be cheaper than using a private car. The fares constitute a small fraction of the amount you would use to fuel your car.
- Increase land value; planning that gives priority to public transport decreases the necessity to allocate huge spaces to parking and roads. Such spaces can then be put to more valuable uses.
- Promotes social equality; the means give low-income earners, the elderly, the unemployed and people with disability social equality.
- Lessen climate change; the fact during peak hours public transport means are up to 6 times less emission-intensive for every kilometer means they significantly reduce climate change.
- Reduces stress; public transport provides access to recreational and social activities some of which are effective in reducing stress and anxiety.
- Creates employment opportunities; from drivers to stage attendants, many people earn their livelihood either directly or indirectly from public transport systems.
Public transport saves money, facilitates movements and hence increases opportunities and increase land value. It also reduces air pollution, alleviates congestions on roads and creates employment opportunities to millions of people. Additionally, if you have a health issue that you feel physical exercise can address, ditch your personal can and start using public transport and start using public transportation. These are just some of the many social, economic and environmental benefits of public transport.
By: Joni kim