Summary: Public transit, or mass transit, is an equitable, energy-efficient way of moving large numbers of people over long distances. There are many challenges to successful public transit, with physical distancing required by coronavirus now added to them.
Done right, public transit can relieve traffic congestion, save space used for parking, reduce accidents, encourage walking, and reduce both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. (Drawdown)
A number of factors can make public transit easier and more attractive. Transit cards good for a number of kinds of transportation, like the Bay Area’s Clipper Card, makes buying tickets seamless and easy. Good bus shelters that protect from the weather can really help.
There are many new transit ideas to choose from that allow a transit system to match the needs and geography of its community. Bus Rapid Transit excludes cars from dedicated bus lanes, sometimes shared with bicycles. This allows buses to go faster than car traffic. Small vans may work better for rural routes than full-sized city buses. Scheduling transit pickups using apps may be the most efficient when need for rides is irregular.
Goal: Campaign for a public transit system that has the right vehicles, routes and scheduling for your community so that it is convenient, cheap and safe for residents to use transit.