Public Transportation: Investments for Profit and Improvements in Society

For more than a hundred years, the private car has played a significant role in how people move from one place to another. Mobility, however, is growing in importance. The world is shifting from a singular mode of transport (defined by personal car ownership) towards different mobility options (empowered by the growth of digital apps).

While private vehicles for transportation in London and other European cities will remain relevant, public transport continues to be the backbone of the EU’s future in mobility. What the cities need to move efficiently through places remains the same: high-frequency systems running on networks of upgraded bus systems, light rail lines, and metros.

If you are looking for a worthwhile investment, consider the public transportation system.

The New Face of Mobile Transportation

Newer mobility services, used with public transportation, provide a better alternative to driving your car. According to research, ridesharing services (such as Uber) reduce the number of vehicles on the road and increase the use of public transport. The report also adds that a 10 percent reduction in car ownership doubles the demand for public transportation.

On-demand ridesharing services have influenced commuters to integrate private transportation with traditional public services. The introduction of the night tube in London, for example, revealed that people are combining apps and public transport to get around more efficiently.

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With a growing number of European public transport systems operating at capacity, investments and funding are essential. Since mobility needs to change continuously, there is a need to reinforce investments that help public transport accommodate more commuters and reduce the dependency on private cars.

The Pandemic Emphasizes the Need

The recent COVID-19 crisis has shown the need for adequate public transportation in keeping cities running. By serving emergency services, essential workers in healthcare, food services, and other industries, public transport has become a service for all residents.

The lockdowns strained plenty of public transit systems worldwide. While emergency interventions keep the systems afloat, governments are making long-term plans. Public transport, after all, is an investment that creates jobs immediately while reducing carbon emissions — improving people’s access to employment and medical needs, as well as making roads safer.

For example, cycling has surged in numerous cities during the pandemic lockdowns. The need for more expansive spaces for pedestrians has also increased, with some cities dedicating streets for walkers. Apart from being resilient, these forms of transportation are affordable, promote healthier lifestyles, and are integral to people’s access to public transportation.

Pedestrian and biking projects can produce more jobs than road projects. Also, smart investments that abide by safe design principles reduce the severity and rate of road crashes.

Milan, one of the European cities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, recently announced its plans to convert 35 kilometres of streets for walking and cycling as parts of its efforts to encourage commerce and reset the economy.

If you are looking for a worthwhile investment, you should consider the public transport system. It’s an investment that not only makes a profit but a difference as well.

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