November 17, 2011

Can the public transport industry play a part in energy efficiency?

London

So in the aftermath of the trip to New York, where I gathered a lot of important information, I will begin blogging about various factors that could prove pivotal in helping tackle climate change. First of all, I begin with how public transport can be beneficial to reduce carbon emissions...

As we all know, the public transport industry is forever growing. New means of transport are being introduced, and current ways of transport are being created in those countries who don't already have such resources.

But really, what can be done with public transport that will benefit the climate? Well, in my opinion, there are three key points, the following:

.To increase accessibility to public transport

.Lower the fares of public transport

.And to increase the commercial viability of public transport

Let's begin with increasing accessiblity. There are ever so many out there who would be willing, but do not get access to public transport. This could be in situations such as a bus not serving a certain area, or a particular city not having adequate infrastructure for modern living that would comprise of good transport (most common in Less Economically Developed countries).

So, to solve this, I think that public transport should serve more areas of the population. Perhaps that's only my point of view though, as many countries are of course doing well with their transport system.

Lowering fares of public transport. Now, where do I begin here. Fares for public transport are, arguably, ridiculous. Within the space of several years, I've witnessed bus fares in my city just about double. Beforehand, there was even enough funding for certain buses to be free. But of course, with the economic crisis comes the cuts, and I'm afraid that public transport is one of them casualties that have ended up on the wrong end of cuts.

Although it may not be the case in countries elsewhere, I think there is a need to reduce the fees for public transport in future years. Perhaps that is what is keeping people in their own means of transport during their particular walks of life. It's dissappointing that there is often an empty bus in service, but with many more personal vehicles running alongside them, letting off a lot of carbon emmissions.

Advertising benefits of public transport. Well, the statistics speak for themselves, and they would be a lot more useful when used on the commercial side of things. Carbon footprint could decrease rapidly if the majority of people took on board the statistics. For instance, a single person's 20 mile round trip by car can be replaced using public transportation with a net CO2 emmissions reduction of 4,800 lbs annually. Traffic congestion would also be decreased with more efficient land use promoted. This would mean that around 37 million metric tonnes of CO2 would be saved annually.

Yes - that's true. And I think that when you get the media involved, many people begin to listen. If the good effects of using public transportation were advertised more frequently, then I think it could go some way in helping reduce carbon footprint. Less personal vehicles would be on the roads for sure. Of course, means of transport that do not let off carbon footprint are by all means positive (e.g. bikes).

So, I think that public transport can have a big say in energy efficiency in the coming years and of course, the more distant future. What do you think about the impact it could have?

Pool Meadow


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