Perhaps you use public transit every day, perhaps you used it years ago, or perhaps it is a foreign term to you entirely. By definition, public transportation, or transit, is a shared passenger experience which is available for use by the public. City buses, trolleybuses, trams, light rail, passenger trains, rapid transit (metro/subways/undergrounds) and ferries are all types of public transportation.
Public transportation is a safe and affordable way to commute. It helps reduce traffic congestion, it saves energy, decreases automobile pollution, can provide exercise (like biking from the train to the office), contributes to a sense of community
A bus/train pass is often less expensive than buying gas, even if you are only commuting part of the way. And most public transit offices offer monthly passes that cost less than the per day use. Cars create about 50 percent of pollution nationwide*; so the more people who use public transit, the less pollution is expelled into the air we breathe. And less pollution is a win for everyone.
Traffic conditions nationwide are often in a state of congestion. If it wasnt for public transportation, it would be worse. A single, large city subway can carry about 30,000 passengers in one hour. If those riders drove instead, ten additional highway lanes would be needed to accommodate the additional traffic. And, think about this, if every American who currently uses some form of public transit were to stop, and drove to work, one person per car instead, they would fill the equivalent of a nine-lane freeway stretching from Boston to Los Angeles. Additionally, while others are feeling road rage at being stuck in traffic, you can get caught up on your reading, homework, scan your email, or cruise through FaceBook.
Saving energy is another benefit or using public transportation. Public transit is twice as fuel efficient as automobiles, and that kind of efficiency adds up, and saves more than 45 million barrels of oil a year. The energy saved is enough to cool, heat, and operate about a quarter of all American homes each year.
An added benefit, is that public transportation is, statistically speaking, safer than driving. The National Safety Council estimates that riding the bus is over 170 times safer than traveling by car. Thats a pretty striking number. Add exercise to the formula, walking or biking to and from your destinations, and its a win/win situation.
The benefits of public transport are evident. So start commuting, or take a day trip using public transport, and send us a comment about your experience.
*Stats for this article were taken from Wikipedia and PACommutes.