Cars vs. public transport

Posted by Michael on June 30, 2013
Free thought
Public transport - tram

Public transport – tram

Cars are the most popular means of transport today. It is difficult to find an adult that would not have one. What is more, regardless the worldwide recession this number is rather going to increase then the opposite. It is very hard to imagine today’s world without them. But it has not always been like that. There used to be such thing, very popular, called public transport. Every big city has buses or suburban trains offering great connection everyday. Public buses, subway, trams, railway service all of them have one strong advantage over cars. They can transport a lot of people at the same time. We can not say this about cars. On average one car equals one passenger. The driver. It means that if ten thousand people want to get to work everyday there will be ten thousand cars on the streets. It means traffic jams, irritation, being late, pollution and constant noise.

Of course the car seems to be the most convenient mean of transportation. You do not have to wait for the bus, it is not crowded, you can listen to the radio or your favorite music and no one can say anything. You leave for work when you ready and jump in it straight after you finish. Is it not wonderful? Yes it seems it is, but have you ever considered it through a wider perspective? We keep on complaining about the noise and pollution made by cars. Everyday there are hundreds of people killed in car accidents. Car parks seem to be to small with every day. Instead of investing in green areas in cities, we cut the trees out to make more room for the cars.

So how about starting to use public transport on everyday basis? At least to go to work. I must admit myself that it is hard to go for shopping by bus, so car are convenient necessities. But when it comes to everyday travel to work, at least within the same city limits, consider using public transportation. If all of has done, the services would develop, there would be more of them and they would be more frequent so that no one would waste more time than necessary. Such solution would reduce the number of cars on the streets, there would be less accidents and the pollution level would be smaller as well. There are cities all over the world, including highly developed countries, where majority of people use public transport on regular, daily basis. A great example may be Edinburgh, Scotland where I have been living myself for 6 years. OK, it is not the biggest city in the world, so you can even walk to distant city parts, but as every UK city there are plenty of car users. However their bus service is excellent. There are buses that go every 5 minutes on the most desired routes. And you know what? They are always full of people. Everyone seems to be using them and be happy about the level of the service itself. What is more the are also electric buses which do not contaminate the air as much as cars. This is something worth consideration here. A bus, a train, subway will be capable of providing much more capacity than an average car. So even if the pollution is produced, it much less.

A woman reading a Kindle ebook on a bus

A woman reading a Kindle ebook on a bus

I also mentioned that car gives you the flexibility of music or a radio station choice. But we are living in the XXI century and all smartphones are equipped with such options. You can not only listen to the music but use many other applications, check e-mail, or browse the Internet. Driving a car would definitely not let you do such things, since you have to be constantly focused on the road. And hey, do not forget about the long forgotten amusement called book reading. When I travel by bus for more then 30 minutes I always take a book with me. It does not have to be all about new technologies, iphones and ipads.

Well organized public transport will take you anywhere within reasonable time. By reasonable time I mean time comparable with the car ride. When we consider the time we spend in the car everyday it appears that majority of it is perfectly wasted. Public transport gives you one more opportunity, again something not so popular nowadays. Socializing with other people. Not through social networks, nor by email neither over the phone but face to face. Some of us are cautious when meeting new people especially being threatened by news everyday about attacks, guns and all sort of dangerous situations. But I am not saying to make friends with them straightway everyday with a target of 10 new people met on the bus. It is just an opportunity to be among real people and who knows, maybe an opportunity to meet someone special as well?

Of course it is impossible to abandon cars nowadays. But there are ways to reduce their usage and by doing so we can achieve more than we think. At least I think so. There is no way to go for Saturday shopping without a car, it is difficult to plan holiday with family on a train or go for a business meeting by bus. I agree. But if we want to treat seriously the danger caused by pollution, reduce the number of car accidents or the everyday noise level there is no better way to do it than trying to go for public transport service.

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