Los Angeles Department of Transportation (California) tests the bike separator ZEBRA by ZICLA in its segregated bike lanes.
-09 Sep, 2015
Everyone likes the convenience of travelling by car, but our freedom to use our own transport comes at a cost. Electric vehicles are still very much in the minority, and the more cars that are on the road, the greater the cost to the environment and our health. The fact is that everybody benefits if there are fewer cars on the road. So what alternatives are there for getting around? Most short journeys can be done on foot, cycle or by bus, and the bus beats the car if you don’t feel like walking or have heavy bags to carry. In fact, there are many reasons to explain why is taking the bus better than taking the car.
Cars are a major contributor to pollution, causing thousands of premature deaths and illnesses every year. The more cars that are on the roads, the greater the chances of accidents as well. Catch the bus instead of driving, and you’re helping to reduce the emissions caused by pollution from burning fossil fuels. Our own city of Barcelona is a very good example of that, given that the bus system runs on natural gas.
Travelling by bus also helps alleviate the pressure on the roads. Every vehicle that is on the road for personal reasons adds to the jams. So, if you’ve ever sat in a car and complained about the traffic, you’re forgetting that you’re part of the problem! Buses can carry up to around 50 passengers; since most passengers are travelling alone or with only one other person, that bus could replace around 30-40 cars. Imagine the traffic with all those cars!
Public transport is often much cheaper than using the car, especially for short city journeys. This kind of journey works out more costly on a per mile or km basis, as cars burn more fuel in the early part of a trip. Then you have the hassle of finding a parking place, plus an unpleasant surprise at how much parking costs, plus you don’t always know how long you’ll have to park for …
If you take the bus, you can often buy a book of tickets or a pass that makes your journey very economical. Again, using Barcelona as an example, a 10-journey ‘T-10’ ticket costs just under 10 euros (2017). That’s just 1 euro ($1.18 or £0.89) for a single journey. The petrol for the same journey by car would probably cost you more than that, plus you need to factor in the other expenses of running a car. The bus definitely wins on cost!
When you’re driving, you have to constantly be on the alert. City journeys can often be particularly stressful, considering the crowds and other traffic. Sit on a bus instead, and you can read the newspaper, listen to music, chat to your friend, gaze out of the window – it’s a much more relaxing way to reach your destination.
It can take a shift in our personal perceptions to appreciate why the bus is better than the car. We’re used to having the convenience of jumping into our own vehicle whenever we want to go somewhere, and there’s no denying that for people who live in more rural areas a car is often the only practical option. But if you have a choice, the bus is by far a more socially and environmentally responsible option. Besides, you don’t need a car in cities where there is an excellent and affordable public transport system.
Some governments and city councils encourage the use of public transport by offering subsidised tickets and other incentives. They may partner with attractions to offer discounted entry to visitors showing proof of a bus or train ticket. And if you need any more encouragement to take the bus instead of the car, calculate your ecological footprint here. Don’t wait for Earth Day next April 22 to get on the bus – right now is the time to ditch your car and help make our environment a happier, healthier place!
It is evident that has a lot of reasons to explain why is taking the bus better than taking the car. So, you should start to take the bus and you will benefit from it!