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Why America Should Turn to Public Transportation

ByDarshan Shah

May 21, 2020

Countries around the world have been using various forms of public transportation for generations. In Europe, trains have been a viable form of transport to get from country to country. They hold a large amount of people, output much less harmful emissions, and cost far less than traveling by vehicle. So, why has America not followed suit?

The answer to that question is not simple. There are dozens of pros and cons that buses, trains, and high-speed rails all raise. However, the positives seem to easily overshadow the negatives. For example, the issue for most people in America is how much it would cost to build said high-speed rail system. Business Insider says that it would cost around $500 billion. Before you go completely dismissing the idea, let’s talk about how much the Eisenhower Interstate System has cost America. When it was built in the 1960s, the interstate system, consisting of 41,000 miles of road, cost $130 billion. Adjust for 2020 inflation and that amount already exceeds $500 billion. Add the 5,000 extra miles that have been added since then, the cost of repairs, the cost of continued construction, and the cost of future construction, and you can double that price tag. In terms of outrageous American dollars, an extensive high-speed rail system wouldn’t cost more than our current mode of transportation.

American public transportation is shoddy, at best. If we revamped it and made it accessible to more people than just our largest urban cities, the United States would fall in love with it. One of the major problems in the nation today, is the enormous number of accidents. Cars, motorcycles, buses, and semi-trucks are all involved in severe crashes on a daily basis. An increase in use of public transportation would greatly diminish these statistics. If you have been involved in a wreck, attorney Dennis Hernandez is one of the best Florida personal injury lawyers. If you were injured and need assistance after an accident, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

Traffic Congestion

On your way to work this morning, you undoubtedly sat in a traffic jam. At any given time, in moderately populated areas, traffic is a nightmare. With more than 300 million people living in the U.S., traffic grows on a daily basis. According to The Insurance Information Institute, 36,560 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2018. Traffic fatalities are decreasing due to vehicle safety features; however, commute times are still getting longer annually. The average commute time for an urban resident is more than 25 minutes. 

Public transportations can dramatically change traffic congestion within all urban cities. 200 people can fit in one standard bus; 200 people will usually drive in more than 175 cars. Public transportation – whether its buses or high-speed rails – can reduce the amount of traffic by an enormous percentage, which in turn, can help with the ongoing struggle against air pollution. 

Going Green

The United States is in the midst of a green revolution. We realized that the world is not an endless pit of resources; it needs to be treated correctly. The transportation industry is one of the biggest players in this revolution. Electric cars are becoming the future; however, there are a lot of issues with the movement. Electric vehicles are expensive, some lack range, can’t operate in winter, and making the batteries is not as green as we hoped it would be. 

Public transportation could solve this problem. With less vehicles on the road, that means less air pollution. A high-speed rail system could lower emissions by as much as 20% a vehicle. One bus emits less carbon monoxide than one passenger vehicle. 

Efficiency of Travel

Along with less air pollution to make our planet livable for the future generations, public transportation can make traveling more efficient. The benefits of a high-speed rail are obvious. With speeds of up to 150 mph, you will get from place to place much quicker than by car. However, even a simple bus can increase fuel efficiency and mobility. It is said that the public transportation industry is responsible for saving more than 4 billion gallons of gasoline each year. Add more buses and trains to the fleet, and you can increase that number tenfold. 

Traveling is one of America’s favorite pastimes. Whether you prefer a road trip from Florida to South Carolina, or a trip from coast to coast, travel within the states is a beautiful adventure. Traveling more efficiently on those trips would always be nice, though. A high-speed rail would get you where you want to go at a much faster pace, saving you money, time and resources along the way. 

Not to mention, mobility is an important issue for every country in the world. In America, it can be difficult for those with a handicap, or any other issue, to get from place to place. An increase in public transportation would allow those who cannot drive to get to work or school, visit the doctor or see their friends without relying on someone. Simply increasing our public transportation fleet would allow efficiency of travel, a decrease in resource usage, and increased mobility for the handicap. These are all viable reasons to turn to public transport. 

Every Other Country Uses It

The biggest uncertainty with public transportation in America, is the size of the country. The rural outskirts of the Midwest can take days to travel. How would you set up an efficient transportation system in rural communities? The short answer: you can’t. It’s simply unrealistic. However, setting up a larger public transportation system within urban cities can allow more people to have access to it. Every other country in the world utilizes public transportation at a higher rate than the U.S. does. Maybe it’s time to make a change and expand our current public transportation. 

An Opinion

Ideas have the power to change the world. America has no shortage of life-changing ideas. Here’s another one: invest in a larger public transportation system. Traffic congestion is overrunning American cities. Traveling 10 miles can take more than an hour in large cities. Places like Boston, Los Angeles, and New York have extensive subway systems or train rails; however, places like Tampa, Kansas City, and Columbus seem to be lacking in public transportation. There’s a gap between our largest cities and the ones that are continuing to grow. Implementing a high-speed rail system – or simply increasing the public transportation we already have – could decrease traffic congestion, air pollution, and fuel consumption. The pros seem to heavily outweigh the cons. 

Author Bio:
Dennis started practicing law at just 23 years old. He obtained his undergraduate degree from
Duke University and continued to earn law degrees from Florida State University College of
Law and Harvard Law School. Blessed with multiple associations, memberships, and awards,
Dennis graduated from the Trial Lawyers College. Mr. Hernandez is one of only 1,378 attorneys
who claim this distinction. In 1996, he founded firm Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A.,
which concentrates in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability.
Dennis is admitted to practice law in all State of Florida courts, The Supreme Court of the United
States, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh District, U.S. District Court for the Middle
District of Florida, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.