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What do you think would encourage more public transport usage?

What factors do you think would encourage more public transport? Please name your country when replying, as different factors will be apparent in some countries.

I personally think that in the UK, we need:

  • Cheaper public transport compared to cars. i.e. it needs to be financially worthwhile
  • Flexibility - unless you can get to where you need to, there's no point using public transport
  • Reliability - if a bus doesn't turn up, people won't use it again.

Cosmic Debris likes this

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I would say it varies from city to city and country to country.

In Sweden and in my city I would like to see:

  • Cheaper public transportation. And why not free!? After all we (the county) already own and pay for more than half of the costs for the public bus transportation company. Investing a little more money is worth the benefits that comes with free rides!
  • Reliability. The bus etc needs to come on time and arrive on time. I don't want to take an earlier bus just because I might come late.
  • Ban cars. Could there be a better way to encourage more public transportation by banning private cars completely in the city centres? No I think not! :cute:

In other cities I've visited:

  • All the points above. Of course!
  • Invest in beauty. People don't want to ride old and disgusting buses or trains. Invest in new and more modern ones and more people will enjoy the rides.

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Invest in beauty. People don't want to ride old and disgusting buses or trains. Invest in new and more modern ones and more people will enjoy the rides.

Really like this one. It's about making people want to use public transport. Good call!

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What factors do you think would encourage more public transport? Please name your country when replying, as different factors will be apparent in some countries.

I personally think that in the UK, we need:

  • Cheaper public transport compared to cars. i.e. it needs to be financially worthwhile
  • Flexibility - unless you can get to where you need to, there's no point using public transport
  • Reliability - if a bus doesn't turn up, people won't use it again.

In the US, all of these apply along with "routes that go from where people are to where they need to be". Portland, Or. is working a a system that provides parking at key points on the train routes. Washington DC area has done the same. Banning cars is clearly not the answer since you have to have an alternative in place first. Cheaper is a major factor, people will only stop driving when the alternative is a major cost saving.

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I wish we could be so proud in the UK, but we can't :(

http://www.freewebz.com/summerholidayconversion/rm.jpg

But you know. They got "tourist value".. Or something... :rolleyes:

In the US, all of these apply along with "routes that go from where people are to where they need to be". Portland, Or. is working a a system that provides parking at key points on the train routes. Washington DC area has done the same. Banning cars is clearly not the answer since you have to have an alternative in place first. Cheaper is a major factor, people will only stop driving when the alternative is a major cost saving.

And that won't happen until you start raising the tax on the gas in the US of A...

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Yeah, they are better, but you live in Sweden and i live in Portugal so that's natural :P

:lol:

Well these are some of the more modern and better ones. My mom lives in Halmstad, another city, and they got dreadful old bus wrecks. But that city is all about low taxes and minimum public investment so they dont get all these superb shiny things. :cute:

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:lol:

Well these are some of the more modern and better ones. My mom lives in Halmstad, another city, and they got dreadful old bus wrecks. But that city is all about low taxes and minimum public investment so they dont get all these superb shiny things. :cute:

Just like in here, not all of our buses are that big and that new:)

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Factors of importance (for me personally):

- comfiness & general impression

I used the public transport a lot - what really turned me off were sometimes too-small places for knees & some smelly buses! (sorry! :))

so ideally nicely clean & attractive buses etc. would be good..

- & also the price: free rides sounds GREAT!! (the bus is too expensive here in Slovenia!!)

- time: often the bus took the longer route & it took longer to come by bus, so I hitchhiked a lot in my student years!

Ideally, hitchhiking & car-sharing would be established mode of transport - with places to pull off etc.. (ideally perhaps with drinkable water or some waste-free snacks next to these places or small bus stations! :))

- smart reuse of existing vehicles (& maybe education of passengers? eg school kids to vandalize less & be nicer to the buses/trains)

with regard to zero waste, I do not need a 'brand new' bus or train, 'retro' can be nice.. if only nicely clean & nice-smelling etc. - naturally! (not chemically-clean or chemically-smelling of artificial toxic air fresheners or such!)

smoking on trains was a bad idea, so not sure if those smells can be gotten out naturally, at least 'best practices' re: this could be gathered..? (some trains smelled okay, & some didn't..?)

maybe just lovely stylish seat covers (& not tacky ones) could accomplish a lot too?

- music on the bus (I really hated some buses that had polka only for 2 hours or so!! :ph34r::blink::rolleyes: ) - ideally music fits the audience/people on the bus (young people=more modern music, ideally good music, lol!)

-seats: ergonomics! some buses had really bad seats - bad for the back etc.

(people come in all sizes: tall & not-so-tall, ideally, there would be at least a few seats for extra tall people on each bus too, no?)

- size of buses & flexibility: some buses are too big for some routes!

a provider here in Slovenia solved this by using vans for services with less people, I've seen this done in Berlin too.. (night 'buses') basically it's half-taxi, half-bus..

- having a bus/van driver's cell phone number - really handy if you're just a little late! :)

small flexible providers may encourage passengers to ring them up & say they'd come in 5 minutes or so.. (I know I was really delighted when offered that option!! :))

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I think if the average city could have a subway and bus system as efficient as New York's, but as clean as Washington D.C and what I remember of Atlanta's, more people would use it.

In New York, you miss one and another one is coming fairly quickly. However, both the buses and trains are a crappy mess. Litter everywhere. In D.C. the Metro is unbelievably clean, but the times between each train and bus is spread out a little longer, almost every half hour for the buses.

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We have a very good bus system in Hawaii. I can get to every corner of the island and it runs on time almost all the time. The busses run on natural gas and are generally well maintained and clean. Many people and students of all ages even elementaty use the mass transit and it is extremely safe. There are almost no school busses. The thing that would get me to use mass transit more would be faster commute time. I generally dont have 2 hours to get from my home to work and then 2 hours back. I have young children and a 12 hour day away from home is not fair to them.

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I know exactly what would encourage more public transport usage - free public transport. This obviously isn't possible within the confines of capitalism but it is entirely possible in a planned nationalised economy. Public transport would be free and high standard, it would be in the interests of society to invest in this.

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In addition to the things you said, I also think they need more routes. Where I lived last, they actually cut out lines for economic reasons, but it meant a lot of people were left without decent locations to access. They had to switch away from using public transportation instead of it encouraging more people to use it. And because of that, that means there were even more people -not- paying for it and making it harder for them to keep in business.

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I live in an developing country where buses earn by the number of passengers they carry. This increases accidents. For me to be encouraged, I would rather have the buses earn a fixed income, and it should be based on distance traveled, just like in South Korea. Of course the posts above also should be taken into consideration.

People also need to contribute. In Japan, given that there's a massive rail network, people can practically walk from one station to another, removing the need to ride the train. In my country though, people still prefer to get off at their EXACT destination. I would like people to enjoy walking more.

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What factors do you think would encourage more public transport? Please name your country when replying, as different factors will be apparent in some countries.

I personally think that in the UK, we need:

  • Cheaper public transport compared to cars. i.e. it needs to be financially worthwhile
  • Flexibility - unless you can get to where you need to, there's no point using public transport
  • Reliability - if a bus doesn't turn up, people won't use it again.

 

 

Our Regional Transporation District has done a fairly good job with providing buses during off peak hours.

 

The distribution of buses during peak hours leaves a lot to be desired, though. If you are going into town durng the morning rush, you can count an a bus reaching your stop at a rate of 1 or 2 every 10 minutes. You lose out if you are going the opposite direction, though, because buses going out of the downtown area run at a rate of only 1 every 25 to 30 minutes.

 

That makes public transportation almost useless.

 

I think it would be better to provide buses, evenly, throughout both rush hours so that anyone can expect a bus, no matter which direction you need to travel, at a rate of 1 every 10 minutes.

 

That change would improve access and would attract more riders.

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I am from the Western U.S..  I think that more stops with public transportation and a quicker schedule would help promote the use of public transportation.  I have to walk quite a ways to get to work and I actually have to drive to another city to catch a train to get to my work.  If there were a few more stops I would take public transportation every day.

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I agree with pretty much all that's been said.. I live in an area with very little Public transport options, but the one that is used most frequently is the thumb! But in larger cities I do think free public transit would be a good way to get cars off the road, but to do that you need to make sure there is enough roof for EVERYONE to sit, I know that is one of the barriers in Brisbane (city 1800km south of me) to more people using public transit..

One of the train services gets a nick name of the Bombay express it is so crowded and doesn't seem to matter how many services they put on. 

The buses are nearly always standing room only too, I know that is a massive turn off for public transit.

 

I don't support the idea of banning cars though, and removing peoples choice of transport, but see no problem with a British style congestion tax to drive into cities.

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In my country public transportation is good and clean. I often travel in public buses. But we are four friends who are working in same building so we are sharing car.  I think that this is also good step for saving environment.

Simon Leufstedt likes this

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