In the US, we like to believe that we are ahead of the rest of the world in everything; however, the fact of the matter is this is far from true. Most other developed nations are far ahead of us in matters such as health care, education and local transportation. While these three topics could and do fill scores upon scores of books, reports and articles, in this article we will focus on the latter of the three. We will discuss some simple ideas to improve public transportation for communities in the United States. Read on to learn more.
Commuter trains are modern, abundant and heavily used in most industrialized nations around the world; however, in the US we tend to only use trains to haul cargo. Even those are old-fashioned and wasteful in terms of energy consumption. One of the first things that should be done to improve local transportation in the US is to provide ample access to fast, modern, comfortable, energy efficient commuter trains to carry people from outlying towns to larger cities for work.
To support a comprehensive train system, excellent bus systems must be put in place. Today in many large cities in the US, bus systems are well developed and heavily used. This trend needs to be aggressively extended to smaller towns and communities so that people can get around effectively and efficiently in town. A good bus system will lessen the need for private cars and empower many older people and people with disabilities to live in their homes and carry out their daily tasks independently.
On a personal level, local transportation can be greatly improved by simply informing people about good transportation habits and encouraging them. For example, carpooling is energy efficient, cost effective and more pleasant than driving around alone for hours out of every day. Commuters should be encouraged to carpool to work or to the bus or train station to make the most of resources.
Within cities, safe bike lanes and sidewalks should be built for people who wish to cycle or walk. Buses and trains should be equipped with bike racks so that those who ride bicycles locally can easily move from one community to another as needed.