Public Transportation


Transportation, which is provided by the Government for the convenience of its people, is called Public Transport. Public Transportation encompasses a range of services, like buses, light rail, commuter and passenger trains, street cars, trolleys, cable cars, ferries, tramways and monorails as also airways. Public Transportation is characterized by regulated service with scheduled stops plying on fixed routes. It is essentially a common carrier service where reservation is not necessary.

Every day nearly 34 million Americans utilize the public transportation system, which is a 30% increase since 1995. Due to the flexibility, freedom, easy access it provides, public transportation is increasingly becoming the choice for many Americans. The American Public Transportation Authority (APTA) is the leading force in advocating public transportation.

In America there are 6,400 public transit providers, 1500 provide bus services and 200 provide rail services. The Public Transportation entity is a $43 billion industry with 359,000 people working for it.

Benefits of Public Transportation

Though Public transportation is indispensable for people who use it. It is also necessary to reduce congestion on the roads, taking cars off the roads, promoting a healthier climate by minimizing carbon dioxide emissions and increasing economic activity in the regions of its route. An APTA report concluded that for every dollar invested in Public Transit projects creates $4-$9 in economic gain.

  1. The over-riding concern today is climate change and what measures to take to reduce global warming. Public Transportation plays a vital role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and also taking care of the commuting needs of the people. A study commissioned by the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for APTA found that public transportation reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 6.9 million metric tonnes. If the every day users of public transport used their vehicles for commuting they would contribute 16.2 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. Public Transport reduced congestion on the roads that resulted in a saving of 340 millions gallons of gasoline thereby reducing 3 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. A single commuter using public transit over his car can reduce carbon dioxide emission by 20 pounds a day or 4,800 pounds a year. The study also found that an average American household's carbon footprint arises from using their vehicles for personal and traveling to work, which comes to 22 metric tonnes a year. If they forego their second vehicle and switch to public transport they contribute 30% less towards their carbon dioxide emissions.
  2. Public Transit usage increased by 6.4% whereby families, which used public transportation save $1, 399 of gas yearly, and an additional expense of $6, 250 in their annual budget, which is the expense on their second vehicle.
  3. Public transportation in the US saves 4 million gallons of gasoline each day, also reducing congestion on the roads by saving 140,769 tanker trips into the city.
  4. Public Transit saves 300,000 automobile fill-ups.
  5. Every $1 billion of Federal funds invested in public transport creates and maintains 47,500 jobs.
  6. Each $10 million in capital investment in public transit yields $30 million in increased economic activity.
  7. Each $10 million invested in public transportation saves nearly $15 million in maintenance cost of roads and highways.
  8. Real Estate near public transit systems appreciates in value.
  9. Public transport saves $1.1 billion hours of commuter time.
  10. Public transport increases mobility among senior citizens and provides a vital link to more than 51 million disabled Americans. 83% of the elderly agree that public transit systems are ideal for their needs.
  11. Economic activity of the neighborhood increases thereby forging stable and productive communities.
  12. Public transport helps in creating healthy lifestyles, by encouraging walking and biking to stations.
  13. Public transportation systems can facilitate large-scale evacuation of people in times of danger, provide critical support to people by timely delivery of equipment, medicines and other necessary items.

As Paul J. Smith Jr. of Dallas Tx says " I rode the bus or train to work for the 43 of 45 years that I was employed by Corporate America. That practice combined with a good salary has given me a very comfortable retirement."

Public Transportation, New York

Seattle and the Central Puget Sound regions are served by an extensive bus system. The three main service providers are the King County Metro, Community Transit, and Sound transit. Due to Seattle's rainy weather most buses travel in the downtown bus tunnel and travel by the Metro bus in the downtown area is free of charge.

Seattle Center monorail operates between downtown Seattle to Seattle Center carrying 450 passengers per trip. Sound transit offers commuter rail service between Tacoma, Seattle, Edmonds and Everett. Ferries are also a popular mode of travel and the Seattle ferry system is the largest in the world. Taxis and shared vans also ply the streets.

Public Transportation, Washington DC

Public Transportation in Washington DC is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority which operates public bus system the Metrobus and a subway system the Metrorail which service the entire metro area. InterCity commuting is provided by Amtrak, MARC (Maryland's Commuter Rail service) and the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) that runs from Northern Virginia to downtown Washington DC. InterCity buses are the Greyhound bus and dragon buses.

DC Circulator buses are cheaper. The East-West route runs from Union Station to Georgetown and the North-South route is from the Convention Center to the Waterfront.

MetroAccess is the Metro's curb to curb paratransit service for the disabled.

Taxis are also a convenient option but fares here are based on zones not meters.

Public Transportation, California

Public transportation in California is an extensive network of freeways, expressways, and highways. Buses, commuter rail, light rail, ferries, cable cars, taxis serve as public transportation. Statistics reveal that in San Francisco alone nearly 32.64% of people commute to work by public transport. Nearly 200 Metro Bus Lines and 4 Metro rail Lines serve Los Angeles. Metro Link, Commuter rail and Metro Rail are part of METRO that serves Southern California. BART and CalTrain connect Bay Area to San Francisco. Intercity travel is provided by Amtrak and Greyhound buses. Other bus service providers are the AC Transit, Golden Fate transit and Sam Trains.

Public Transportation, New Jersey

The NJ Transit is New Jersey Public Transportation Corporation with an extensive service that includes bus, rail, light rail, which connect major points in New Jersey to New York, and Philadelphia. With its fleet of 2,027 buses, 711 transit trains, 45 light trains plying on 236 bus routes and 11 commuter rail lines, NJ Transit transports 223 million passengers per year.

Public Transportation, Las Vegas

The Citizen's Area transit (CAT) operates 39 scheduled routes along the Strip, downtown and surrounding areas of Las Vegas. A double-decker bus 'The Deuce' takes you along the strip and downtown.

The Las Vegas monorail operates along the strip and is the fastest option. It runs from 7 am till 2pm weekdays and single fares are $5.

Strip Trolleys also ply along the Strip, from downtown to South strip.

Taxis have to be called or booked; you cannot hail a cab on the street.