These days, our routine gets more and more unbearable every single day. Imagine, waking up early in the morning before sunrise, rushing out early to get to work on time, traffic jam, working from 9AM to 5PM or beyond, going back home as the sky gets dark, traffic jam on the way home, and finally reaching home a few hours before midnight.
With that kind of routine, we unnecessarily spend quite a large number of hours on the road due to traffic jam. That situation makes us look for a more efficient way of commuting, which is none other than public transportation. Anyway, what are the environmental and economic benefits of public transportation?
What is Public Transportation?
Public transportation is basically any mode of transportation that is available for use by the general public. They often operate on a schedule, on established routes with designated stops, and charge fares per trip. Meanwhile, examples of public transportations include taxicabs, buses, subway trains, ferries, to even aeroplanes.
The reason for the use of public transportation varies greatly in between nations. The high price or heavy taxes imposed on private transportations, high efficiency and economical fares are some of the most common reasons to why people rely on public transportation to serve their commuting needs.
These are the benefits of exercise for circulatory and respiratory system and also the health benefits of walking one hour a day.
Below are the ten environmental and economic benefits of public transportation.
Ten Benefits of Public Transportation
Here are the environmental and economic benefits of public transportation:
- Provides Income to the Community and its Society
For every dollar that is invested in public transportation, its can generate review as much as 4x to the amount being invested. In the long run, the local infrastructure sees chances of improvement, and benefits are given to people who work and live within the vicinity of its route.
Given the trend in the rise of public transportation usage, many of the public want their new homes to be within walking distance of public transportation route. And so house developers aggressively construct their housing estates near public transportation routes in order to better serve market demands. Likewise, for businesses many service or retail-oriented businesses gather their operations around bus terminals, airports or train stations due to higher passenger flow, thus higher potential income. And not only that, thousands of jobs in public transport operators will also be created because of course, the operators need someone to conduct their daily operations. These newly-created job opportunities include machinists, drivers, conductors, crew members, traffic controllers, ticket sales agent, cleaning service and much more.
- Reduction in Air Pollution
By moving more people in one vehicle, public transit produces significantly less air pollution per passenger kilometer compared to a car with a single or two occupants. For example, modern subway trains that run on electricity emit 0% fossil fuel emissions, buses release 20% less carbon monoxide and 25% less nitrogen oxide per passenger kilometer. A reduction in air pollution leads to healthy air that is vital for the sustainability of human and environmental health.
- Less Money Spent on Fuel
Imagine how much money you would need to spend if you decide to drive everyday in between home and work. Not to mention that traffic jams almost always occur in peak hours. With you driving and having to endure traffic jam requires the car engine to be turned on, of course fuel consumption gets higher. At the end of the day, your car’s fuel tank is finished because of traffic jam. To refill fuel at the petrol pump, you’ll need money again.
If you use public transport instead, you will automatically spend less on fuel. That precious money would be better off allocated for something else compared to fuel you don’t actually use!
- Increased Petrol Efficiency
In relation to points 2 and 3, there will be an incline in petrol efficiency because you don’t consume as much fuel, thus eliminating the need to refill petrol every so often. The American Public Transport Association (APTA) claimed that public transit in the United States contributed to saving 4.2 billion gallons of fuel per year.
- Decline in Traffic Jams
With more and more people leaving their cars at home for public transportation, it would mean less traffic jams and emptier streets because people are transported in masses per vehicle instead of one or two per vehicle.
Public transports are wallet friendly because you don’t need to spend more than 8-10 dollars per one-way ride. With that valuable price, you are indeed able to cover a pretty far distance, so imagine how low the cost per kilometer would be. By the way, the idea that public transports are wallet friendly does not apply to taxicabs. Yes, it is legally a form of public transport, but its “car hire” system that what makes it costly.
On the other hand, public transports are also wallet friendly because you don’t need to think about car or motorcycle credit loans or maintenance costs.
- Increased Mobility for Certain People
It’s good to take note that not anyone is able to have or take private transportation for a number of reasons. Those reasons may be because the passenger is too old or too young to drive, cannot afford a car or a motorcycle, or simply because he or she doesn’t have a driving license. The availability of public transportation allows those type of people to commute independently without having to rely on others to drive them.
- Time Efficient as Well
There are many environmental and economic benefits of public transportation. By taking public transport, not only you are freed from the dreadfulness of traffic jams but then as you sit or stand inside the train or bus, you can do other stuff such as listening to your favorite music, read a book or newspaper or perhaps take a short nap while commuting to your destination.
- Encourages an Active and Discipline Lifestyle
First, public transport encourages an active lifestyle because you will need some walking or running in between the transportation and your place of origin or destination, because they are less likely to stop exactly on where you live or intend to go.
Those who regularly use public transport are said to get three times more physical activity compared to those who don’t, and the United States Centre for Disease Control recommends a 22-minute of moderate physical activities per day, which in the long run also lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, joint and back problems, cancers, and more.
Second, public transport also teaches us to be discipline because it runs on schedule. You must plan carefully your trip, such as estimating how long does it take to get to the station or bus stop from your house, which train or bus to take, and others. If you miss any of these steps, it will affect the whole trip and at the end, you will reach work or any other appointments made late.
- Ensures Life Continuity
An American survey done to respondents over 65% turned out that non-drivers take 15% less trips to the hospital, 60% less shopping or eating-out trips, and 65% less trips for social, family or recreational purposes compared to those who owned private vehicles.
Having not owned a car, these people have a wider access to a number of privileges, such as enhanced healthcare facilities, basic shopping, banking and financial services, educational as well as employment opportunities. That’s all the environmental and economic benefits of public transportation.
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