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Mass Transit and Its Benefits for Americans Essay

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Updated: Dec 11th, 2020

Introduction

The modern world can be characterized by the extremely high speed of urbanization. The given tendency is the fundamental one as it preconditions the evolution of societies and the appearance of new trends. At the same time, the rapid rise of cities and the emergence of megapolises mean that people have to cover huge distances to reach a particular area or place. Under these conditions, the question of transportation acquires the top priority as people want to have a simple, efficient, and cheap ways to move across cities and reach destination areas. That is why there are numerous appeals to increase the efficiency of mass transit.

Background

Today numerous individuals use their vehicles to increase their mobility and move from one end of a city to another. However, there are people who either do not have an opportunity to buy a car or prefer to use some other means of transport because of different reasons. At the same time, the gradual rise of big cities and the tendency towards further urbanization precondition a significant increase in the number of new cars, which will obviously become a problem in the future (Patton, 2017). That is why the reconsideration of the approach to the public transit system and the use of specific pricing models could become a perfect solution to the problem of transportation in big cities (Patton, 2017). Additionally, mass transit has several advantages which make it more attractive to the population and justifies the need for its improvement.

Environmental Concerns

Among the factors impacting Americans preferences and the use of mass transit environmental issues hold leading positions. The fact is that a significant shift in peoples mentalities can be admitted today. The critical deterioration of the environment is to a greater degree associated with the increase in vehicles in big cities (McMahon, 2013). The use of public transport can be considered one of the possible solutions to the problem (Patton, 2017). That is why Americans might prefer using mass transit to avoid unnecessary emissions and contribute to the improvement of the environment.

Congestion

The second factor affecting peoples choice is the increased number of traffic congestions and numerous problematic issues related to it. All big cities face this problem because of overpopulation and the growing number of private vehicles (Ceder, 2015). The growth of peoples well-being and the introduction of affordable automobiles stipulate the appearance of numerous cars in megapolises streets. For this reason, during rush-hours people suffer from the inability to reach particular places because of traffic jams (Ceder, 2015). In this regard, the use of the public transit system becomes an appropriate alternative for them regarding the lack of time and the necessity to avoid lateness.

Affordability

Finally, another factor that might stipulate the choice of the public transit system is its affordability and broad coverage. The fact is that despite the tendency towards the gradual increase in the number of cars across the population there are still categories that are not able to afford their private vehicle (Abdallah, 2017). In such a way, public transit becomes the only available method to reach destination points (Abdallah, 2017). At the same time, the developed public transportation system peculiar to some cities, especially old ones, provides individuals with an opportunity to move to areas that cannot be reached by cars or other personal vehicles (Abdallah, 2017). For this reason, they might prefer using the public transit system for their own purposes.

Pricing Strategies

In such a way, the reasons suggested above demonstrate that mass transit remains topical regarding the existing urbanization tendencies and the increased number of cars. At the same time, the high speed of population growth means the constantly increasing demand for transportation services. In this regard, it is critical to attaining improved utilization of transportation facilities within metropolitan areas to guarantee that all individuals needs will be satisfied and the public transit system will preserve its topicality. Among numerous approaches suggested as a possible solution to the problem, pricing could be considered the most efficient one because of the high potential of this measure.

Thus, there are several possible models with an emphasis on the financial aspect of the issue. The improved coordination of local transportation could be achieved by the more economical distribution of traffic and a fair price suggested by passengers (Vickrey, 1965). In other words, a flexible pricing system that considers the peak and off-peak usage along with the covered distance can help to improve the efficiency of the system and attract new passengers including those who used vehicles (Vickrey, 1965). The fact is that by the statistics the public transit usage becomes much higher during rush hours even if compare with vehicular traffic (Vickrey, 1965). However, if there is no differentiation between peak and off-peak charges, public transit demonstrates poor showings (Vickrey, 1965). For this reason, one of the possible solutions to better utilize transportation facilities is to reconsider the approach to pricing by subsidizing public transit at the expense of vehicular traffic (Vickrey, 1965). It will help to decrease the level of congestion and provide buses with an opportunity to suggest satisfactory services to all passengers.

One more possible way to improve utilization of public transit is the introduction of specific equipment to determine the covered distance and calculate a fair price for passengers. The given approach presupposes the use of identification units that will be scanned by roadside devices placed at zone boundaries (Vickrey, 1965). In such a way, the system will be able to monitor all alterations in the position of a vehicle and provide data that can be used to calculate a fair price and offer passengers an opportunity to use improved services. The introduction of the given pricing method is expected to improve the utilization of facilities by suggesting extra funds that can be used to sponsor the further development of the sphere and precondition its stable functioning.

Conclusion

Altogether, despite the gradual increase in the number of private vehicles, the public transit system remains topical and demanded. There are several advantages that it guarantees to users. First of all, people in the USA might prefer using public transit because of environmental concerns as it helps to reduce the number of emissions and improve the situation. Second, the rise of metropolises means the increased number of people and cars on the streets which results in traffic problems and congestions during peak hours. For this reason, using buses individuals might avoid these problems. Finally, it remains a more affordable way to reach some areas. That is why there is a need for the further utilization of facilities to align their efficient functioning. The appropriate pricing strategy becomes one of the measures to regulate this aspect. The differentiation between peaks and off-peaks along with the determination of the covered distance will help to implement this new strategy and make it efficient.

References

Abdallah, T. (2017). Sustainable mass transit: Challenges and opportunities in urban public transportation. New York, NY: Elsevier.

Ceder, A. (2015). Public Transit planning and operation: Modeling, practice and behavior (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

McMahon, J. (2013). Forbes. Web.

Patton, C. (2017). Public transit operations: The strategic professional. New York, NY: Switchpoint Press.

Vickrey, W. (1965). Pricing as a tool in coordination of local transportation. In Universities-National Bureau (ed.), Transportation economics (p. 275-296). New York, NY: UMI Research Press.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Mass Transit and Its Benefits for Americans." December 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/mass-transit-and-its-benefits-for-americans/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Mass Transit and Its Benefits for Americans'. 11 December.

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