Last updated: April 11, 2019
Topic: AutomotiveCars
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We all hear the traffic woes everyday. The city has its share of negatives but traffic is one of the most talked about and experienced. One of the solutions generally given to solve the traffic problems is to have an efficient public transportation system. This solution basically cuts down the number of vehicles, and saves fuel, reduces pollution and in some cases is actually efficient in terms of time and money also.This paper discusses on the different modes of public transport by taking different case studies all over the world, the best and the not-so-good and conclusion given on the suitability and improvements or suggestions or solutions if any.

It also suggests some of the future possibilities that have been suggested. Aim: To compare some of the case studies of public transportation modes and to find the suitability of the system in particular situations. Methodology: The paper is a synthesis of materials from research papers and articles related to the topic.Through the study of different cases of public transport systems used in different places we can find and compare the different problems for which they were a solution, for which they have become a problem, together with the positives and negatives of the system. This comparison gives us possibilities of practical solutions and of course the best methods used.

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These could be used as a solution for the problem area in the case studies itself. Introduction The invention of the wheel made way for the vehicles and transport technologies.Transportation brought mobility and with it, brought a series of solutions and problems. The positives are increased mobility, faster travel, bigger towns, and so on.

The issues include poor air quality, traffic volumes and congestion, noise pollution, high level of green house gas emissions, and urban sprawl. These have significant effect on the environment, health and economic performance of urban areas. Most of the time, the solution given is the use of an efficient public transport. This brings to mind the question of efficiency of public transport. What is an fficient public transport system? Efficiency is in terms of: Time, that is, faster, Money, cheaper, Accessibility, as in stops are near to both the origin and the destination, in other words, coverage, Frequency, so that people don’t have to wait too long for it, and Comfort, the interiors of the mode and no crowding. Modes of public transport include buses, trains, trams, ‘rapid transit’, which includes metros (subways or underground train systems) and ferries. Regional/intercity travel systems include other than the above, the airlines and intercity bus and rail.Another form of public transport, which does not follow any fixed routes or schedule, are the ‘Paratransit’ system, which include shre taxis, car pooling, mini buses, and jitneys.

Why should public transportation system be preferred as the travel of mode at all? For the following reasons: It reduces the number of trips by reducing the traffic volume, which in turn reduces fuel consumption and air pollution to some extent. It is also found that the accidents are few when the mode is public transport as compared to private vehicles.It is economic, in other words cheaper. And if the public transport is extensively used, and if it is efficient, it could also help in controlling the urban sprawl. It also reduces parking problems. Case studies and Research Papers A paper on Environmental effects of public transport by Piet Rietveld says: “given the difference between peak and off-peak occupancy rates in public transport, the average emission per traveller kilometre is lower in the peak than during the off-peak period.For cars a reverse pattern can be observed.

However, in this paper it is argued that it is much more fruitful to analyse environmental effects in marginal than in average terms. The occupancy rate plays an important role in analysing train transport’s environmental burden. ” Since environmental effects depends on the occupancy rates, we need to make sure more people use public transit, and this can be done by increasing the efficiency. US case study:Another paper, Comparative Performance of Public Transport in The US says “There is ongoing debate over the relative advantages of rail and bus transit investments. Rail critics assert that cities which expand their bus transit systems exhibit better performance than those that expand rail systems. ” It lists out the advantages of bus system as: Flexibility as in expansion or changing of the routes when needed by the demand or repairs in the roadways. It requires no special facilities: it can run on the existing roadway.

This is more suitable for spread out (radial) or dispersed. This is economic in terms of capital cost and operating cost in case the demand is low. And the advantages it lists out of the rail transit are: Greater demand (case study: US).

It offers greater comfort due to larger seats with more legroom and the ride is smoother and quiter. It has larger maximum capacity. Rail requires less space and is more cost effective on high volume routes. Greater travel speed and reliability, where rail transit is grade separated.Gives out less air and noise pollution, particularly when electric powered. Lower operating costs per passenger-mile where transit demand is high. This paper concludes: “This analysis indicates that U.

S. urban areas that expanded rail service on average significantly outperformed urban areas that only expanded bus service in terms of transit ridership and financial performance. Cities that expanded their rail transit systems gained far more total transit riders than cities that expanded bus transit systems. ”Can public transport be effective in low density cities? In his paper Paul Mees’ main argument is that “low transport density isn’t a barrier to successful public transport, and that it is easier to change public transport provision in a city, than it is to change urban densities (not that increasing urban densities isn’t a worthy goal).

Certainly urban density makes it easier to make public transport successful, but I’d agree that it is possible to make public transport work a lot better in low density environments.Indeed, in Melbourne, relatively high quality SmartBus routes (that run every 15 minutes for most of the day on weekdays, very good by suburban Melbourne standards! ) have been trialled in the outer suburbs, and the patronage response has been much stronger than typical elasticities. More generally, in Melbourne over the last three years we’ve seen a very strong correlation between growth in service provision (26% more kms) and growth in patronage (29%) – more than any other potential driver of patronage (again, topic for another post).Case study – Mumbai Public Transport in Mumbai involves the transport of millions of its citizens by train, road and water. Over 88% of the commuters in Mumbai use public transport (suburban trains or buses). It is the most convenient, efficient and cheap form of transport to a population largely without sufficient income to afford cars.

Mumbai has the largest organised bus transport network among major Indian cities. But the train network is constantly struggling to cope with the growing population.A train compartment is usually filled with over three times the passengers it was meant for at peak hours, and there have been more than 20,000 deaths in the last five years. Case study – Delhi At present Blue-line operators run roughly 4,596 CNG buses excluding 4000-5000 contract or chartered buses, 3000-4000 Rural Transport Vehicles (RTV’s) ply both on rural as well as urban Delhi roads and the DTC representing the public sector has 30% market share only owning 3413 CNG buses with 3100 of them being road worthy in which again 1100 buses are reserved for school.The present transport scenario indicates the pivotal role that bus transport plays in an urban context. If one goes through the available statistics one finds that less than 1% commuters used trains in Delhi in 2001 owing to the weak suburban railway network while nearly 60% used buses (DTC and private buses). DTC caters to the needs of around 48 lakh commuters and this proportion has remained more or less stable over the past decade. It should be further noted that even after a fully developed rail based mass rapid transit system comes into operation by 2021(with 244.

6 km in length that will cater to 20% of the city commuters), the bus transport system will continue to play a dominant role in Delhi’s Public Transport System. If one makes a comparative analogy one sees that all over the world the public transportation system plays a major role in the urban transport network. Cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and Beijing are public transportation-oriented as more than 70% of the people rely on them and in Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila, the modal share of public transport varies between 40 and 60% of total person trips. Orlando, FloridaOrlando’s Lymmo system offers passengers free bus rides throughout the downtown area on three miles of dedicated lanes. Ten low-floor buses fueled by environmentally-friendly compressed natural gas run every 5 minutes during working hours, every 10 minutes after hours, and every 15 minutes on weekends between eleven lighted and computerized Lymmo stations and eight additional stops. Service is fast because low-floor buses speed passenger loading, even for passengers with wheelchairs, and because signal priority for buses at intersections insures that traffic does not interfere with bus operations.Electronic kiosks at stations show passengers the location and expected arrival time of the next bus. Waiting for the bus: There was a survey done on college students who were given a choice either to pay for the bus and not wait or they had to wait to travel for free.

About 84% of the students choose to wait and the maximum time they were willing to wait was about 5 mins but there were also a few people who waited for about 18 mins. But this concludes that cost is preferred to time but this was just one case involving students and we should also keep in mind that there was a choice to travel for free.Case study-Tokyo: Tokyo has a well-developed urban rail system and substantial experience in integrated urban rail and land development primarily led by the private sector.

It has been estimated that 57% of travel in Tokyo is by public transport, a higher level of usage than in other world cities. Tokyo Metro is jointly owned by the national government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It operates 8 subway lines in central Tokyo, and has a daily rider-ship of 5. 9 million passengers. The TOEI operates four metro routes, one tram line, and Tokyo’s bus service.

It carries 2. million passengers daily on its services, the majority of which, over 2 million, travel on the metro. Although it is not a metro, the Yamanote line is a metro-like train line which rings central Tokyo. It is the most important line in the city, and its 29 stops connect all the main metro and overland stations.

The line carries between 3 and 5 million passengers per day (Comparable to the rider-ship of the whole New York Metro) and is operated by the Eastern Japanese Railway Company. Case study-London: Overall, growth in public transport capacity has fallen well below growth in population and employment in London.Between 1997/98 and 2003/04 rail passenger demand rose by 22 percent, whereas capacity rose by only 13 percent. Crowding of the underground and national rail networks is widespread, and most severe during the morning peaks. In the future, public transport demand is predicted to grow faster than the current rate of capacity enhancements.

Case Study –New York: The New York City Subway is the largest rapid transit system in the world when measured by track mileage (1,056 km of mainline track), and the fourth-largest when measured by annual rider-ship (1. billion passenger trips in 2005). Around 6 million passengers use the subway each weekday. Subway riders pay with the Metro Card, which is also valid on all other rapid transit systems and buses in the city, as well as the Roosevelt Island tramway.

Fares are loaded electronically on the card. Case study –Paris: Paris is at the centre of the Ile de France region, which has a population of 11. 5 million and is made up of Paris plus seven other districts. RATP (Regie Autonome des Transports de Paris) is the main public transport operator in Paris and the Ile de France.It is a state owned company, and is joint operator of two of the suburban metro (RER) lines, and operates the Paris metro, four tram lines, and is the largest bus operator in both Paris and the surrounding area. The Paris metro is the most used transport mode, with over 1.

4 billion passenger journeys in 2006. Paris has a lower rate of car ownership than the rest of the Ile de France. At 0.

5 cars per household this is also lower than other European cities – 0. 8 for London, 0. 9 for Brussels and 1. 1 for Madrid. Curitiba, BrazilThis is often called the most liveable cities and it has an excellent public transport system to support its functioning. The buses run frequently—some as often as every 90 seconds—and reliably, and the stations are convenient, well designed, comfortable, and attractive. consequently, Curitiba has one of the most heavily used, yet lowcost, transit systems in the world.

It offers many of the features of a subway system—vehicle movements unimpeded by traffic signals and congestion, fare collection prior to boarding, quick passenger loading and unloading—but it is above ground and visible.Around 75 percent of Curitiba’s commuters use the BRT to travel to work, resulting in congestion-free streets and pollution-free air for the 2. 2 million inhabitants of greater Curitiba. A Hierarchical System of Bus Services: Curitiba’s bus system is composed of a hierarchical system of services. Minibuses routed through residential neighborhoods feed passengers to conventional buses on circumferential routes around the central city and on inter-district routes. The backbone of the system is composed of the Bus Rapid Transit, operating on the five main arteries leading into the center of the city like spokes on a wheel hub.Outcome •Out of the many case studies it is found that the faster the travel, the more the public transport is preferred.

•The more the occupancy proportion of public transport as against private gives results in terms of environment, road safety etc. •Rail is faster compared to bus but its initial investment is high. •Bus systems are flexible and there is not much need for separate infrastructure development that the trains require. •In case there is both rail and bus available as public transport, rail is preffered. Para transit facilities give a boost to occupancy of public transport in less denser area and far off areas.

•Efficient transport also means that people reach their destination quickly and that the travel is cheap. Conclusion Rather than a debate about overall superior, because there is no such thing, we need to consider the most appropriate for a given situation. Bus is best serving areas with more dispersed destinations and lower transit demand. Rail is best serving corridors where destinations are concentrated (Kuby, Barranda and Upchurch, 2004).For a high density metro, for example, we could have have both the subways and bus rapid system.

Both can become more efficient and effective at achieving planning objectives if implemented with supportive policies that improve service quality, create more supportive land use patterns and encourage ridership. Bus systems provide a versatile form of public transportation with the flexibility to serve a variety of access needs and an unlimited range of locations throughout a metropolitan area.Because buses travel on urban roadways, infrastructure investments needed to support bus service can be substantially lower than the capital costs required for rail systems.

As a result, bus service can be implemented cost-effectively on routes where ridership may not be sufficient or where the capital investment may not be available to implement rail systems. There is also a need to promote intermodal coordination among various public transport services. It doesn’t really matter if we are choosing rail or road as long as it is fast and cheap – cheap gets the second priority.There is an increasing demand for high quality public transit service and Transit Oriented Development.

If we consider private vehicle vs. public transport, the advantage of private vehicle is that, it takes you up to the place you want to go, that is, you don’t have to do that extra walking as is in case of public transport. For an efficient public transport, high connectivity should be considered. This can also be done by transit oriented development and incorporating the land use with the public transport routes. Incorporating more than one mode for public transport that serve one another seems like a solution.But changing more than three modes seems troublesome.

Promoting intermodal coordination among various public transport services is necessary so that people don’t have to wait for long. Incorporation of cycles with the public transportation is one of the best possibilities/ improvements required. Depending on the form and shape of the city, subways/ rail lines/ bus rapid transit can be introduced. If the city is spread out in a radial pattern, different sections could be divided and interconnecting hubs can be given.