Public Transportation:

Buses, Trains, and a healthy conscience





According to Eric Zabel, a biology teacher at Narragansett High School whom has spent many years studying environmental topics, there is no single solution to America’s dependency on fossil fuels and overuse of resources. However, the future of American transportation does rely mainly on the development of public transportation. America as a whole needs to invest in and utilize Trains, busses, and a reworking of infrastructure which allows for less and shorter commuting (Zabel). By investing in multiple areas of public transit, America will make utilizing public transportation more feasible for the masses. Possibly the most well known and utilized mode of public transports is busses. Although they do require the resources of two to three cars, busses can transport up to eighty people at a time (Green Public Transportation). If utilized, busses can greatly reduce the amount of automobiles on the roads, while reducing the amount of emissions. If each bus were filled for every trip, this would be equivalent of taking up to 77 cars off of the road! The other major form of public transit is trains, which, without a doubt, are the “most efficient” method of transport (Zabel). In truth, trains are a marvel of modern technology. Each train has the capacity to transport large amounts of people over great distances, with fewer resources per passenger than any other method of transport. One type of train, known as heavy-rail transit, can actually transport up to 10,000 passengers per hour, yet runs entirely off of electricity (Green Public Transportation). Many cities, such as New York and Boston, have already developed their infrastructure around trains, utilizing underground subways. However, Public transport serves some areas very well, and some areas very poorly (Green Public Transportation). Many areas of the U.S. resist the different methods of public transport because it involves a change in lifestyle, as well as a major investment of capitol to initiate the process. Because of the large sums of money required to start a public transportation plan, many cities and towns are hesitant to do so. In fact, according to Doctor Margrett Eppstein, the decision to redevelop America’s public transportation infrastructure relies mainly on market forces. However, many stop here, and do not look at the benefits of these systems, which, once in place, would be well worth the resources used to redevelop public infrastructure. For example, look at New York City, one of the best examples for well developed and widely used public transportation. By utilizing the well designed network of bus routes and subway stops around the city, commuters save 19 billion dollars annually (Shahan). Because of this huge savings, the capital used to develop these systems is quickly made back, however, there is now an added ecological benefit. The redevelopment of Americas public transportation infrastructure is an important part of reducing the countries addiction to oil, as well as Americas growing carbon footprint, because it simplifies the changes needed to help our country, meanwhile making it easier for each commuter to do his or her part to help the planet.

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Alternate Transportation and the U.S. | Copyright 2010 | Last Modified Wednesday, January 19, 2011 8:14 AM

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