Efficiency of Public Transportation System

Topics: Public transport, Rapid transit, Rail transport Pages: 9 (2982 words) Published: March 22, 2011
Efficiency of Public Transport Systems

We all hear the traffic woes everyday. The city has its share of negatives but traffic is one of the most talked about and experienced. One of the solutions generally given to solve the traffic problems is to have an efficient public transportation system. This solution basically cuts down the number of vehicles, and saves fuel, reduces pollution and in some cases is actually efficient in terms of time and money also. This paper discusses on the different modes of public transport by taking different case studies all over the world, the best and the not-so-good and conclusion given on the suitability and improvements or suggestions or solutions if any. It also suggests some of the future possibilities that have been suggested. Aim:

To compare some of the case studies of public transportation modes and to find the suitability of the system in particular situations. Methodology:
The paper is a synthesis of materials from research papers and articles related to the topic. Through the study of different cases of public transport systems used in different places we can find and compare the different problems for which they were a solution, for which they have become a problem, together with the positives and negatives of the system. This comparison gives us possibilities of practical solutions and of course the best methods used. These could be used as a solution for the problem area in the case studies itself.

The invention of the wheel made way for the vehicles and transport technologies. Transportation brought mobility and with it, brought a series of solutions and problems. The positives are increased mobility, faster travel, bigger towns, and so on. The issues include poor air quality, traffic volumes and congestion, noise pollution, high level of green house gas emissions, and urban sprawl. These have significant effect on the environment, health and economic performance of urban areas. Most of the time, the solution given is the use of an efficient public transport. This brings to mind the question of efficiency of public transport. What is an efficient public transport system? Efficiency is in terms of: Time, that is, faster, Money, cheaper, Accessibility, as in stops are near to both the origin and the destination, in other words, coverage, Frequency, so that people don’t have to wait too long for it, and Comfort, the interiors of the mode and no crowding. Modes of public transport include buses, trains, trams, ‘rapid transit’, which includes metros (subways or underground train systems) and ferries. Regional/intercity travel systems include other than the above, the airlines and intercity bus and rail. Another form of public transport, which does not follow any fixed routes or schedule, are the ‘Paratransit’ system, which include shre taxis, car pooling, mini buses, and jitneys. Why should public transportation system be preferred as the travel of mode at all? For the following reasons: It reduces the number of trips by reducing the traffic volume, which in turn reduces fuel consumption and air pollution to some extent. It is also found that the accidents are few when the mode is public transport as compared to private vehicles. It is economic, in other words cheaper. And if the public transport is extensively used, and if it is efficient, it could also help in controlling the urban sprawl. It also reduces parking problems.

Case studies and Research Papers

A paper on Environmental effects of public transport by Piet Rietveld says: “given the difference between peak and off-peak occupancy rates in public transport, the average emission per traveller kilometre is lower in the peak than during the off-peak period. For cars a reverse pattern can be observed. However, in this paper it is argued that it is much more fruitful to analyse environmental effects in marginal than in average terms. The occupancy rate plays an important role in...
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