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Public Transport Vs Private Transport

By: Kelly Fenn - Updated: 30 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Public Private Transport Car Drive

Most of us know using public transport is better for the environment and can even offer a cheaper and quicker route. But in reality the number of cars on the road is continuing to rise. So what is it that’s stopping people from ditching the more expensive not to mention less green, private forms of transport that we see on the road? We look at the pros and cons of both forms of getting from A to B…

Public Transport – A Greener Form of Travel

If you want to do your bit for the environment, getting public transport and leaving the car at home is one of the most straightforward things to do. As you will see below, it can be more convenient, quicker, and cheaper to do so. And the green benefits are great too. Car journeys contribute a significant amount of our overall carbon footprint. According to the Energy Saving Trust nearly half of us use a car to drive short journeys, journeys that could otherwise be completed in another, more sustainable way.

Convenient
The great thing about public transport is that it gets you where you want to be, when you want to be there, particularly in cities and towns. Rather than only being able to drive to a certain point before getting stuck in a one way system, you can reach your central point directly. Plus you get the bonus of sitting back, relaxing with a newspaper and letting someone else do the driving.

Quicker
Despite their tendency to get delayed at times, in the majority of instances, your journey from A to B will be quick and often direct as more and more investment is made into new train, tram and bus routes across the UK.

Cheaper
Contrary to popular belief, nearly all forms of public transport pose less of a cost to the traveller. If you’re regularly visiting a place, or planning a trip in advance, you can get season tickets or advance booked tickets for a cheaper price. The cost of running a car goes much further than the mere cost of petrol, which in itself can be very expensive in the UK. Getting on public transport means no congestion charges, car insurance and tax costs, plus eradicates the expense of maintaining your car to a high standard.

No Parking
One of the most frustrating things about driving a car or motorbike is the hunt for a parking space once you arrive at your destination. Parking is often scarce, and usually expensive. The bonus of getting on public transport is being able to alight and nothing else. Parking can often add extra time to your driving journey.

Public Transport – Cons
On the other hand, public transport hasn’t always had the best of reputations. According to government survey, many cite the following reasons for not using a public transport option more often:

  • Ticket prices are rising
  • Poor customer service
  • Rush hour inconvenience
  • Delays and unreliability

Private Transport – Not Clean or Green

The downside to public transport means that cars and motorbikes can, at times, be more flexible and offer an easier form of travel in the eyes of the commuter or traveller. However the green credentials are far less than attractive for anyone wanting to reduce their carbon footprint. And on the whole, there is a realistic public transport alternative to driving. The biggest challenge is changing our preconceptions.

According to a survey commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust, we drive on more unnecessary journeys then most other European nations, an extra three billion miles compared to the French. Even trying out a train or bus even once or twice a week – be it to the supermarket or the shops – will reduce this carbon footprint.

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[Add a Comment]
Adamrobertk - Your Question:
This is why I choose my car over public transport.Getting to work for 7am and leaving at 3pm (average times, used public for 5 years, car for 2)Public transport - 5 minute walk to bus stop, 20 minute bus to the town center, 10 minute wait, 20 minute bus to near my work, 10 minute walk to work. 65 minutesLeaving at 3 - 10 minute walk to bus stop, 20 minutes to town, 15 minute wait for connection, 20 minutes to near home, 5 minute walk - 70 minutesCar - 20 minutes to work30 minutes home after work.Total public transport time - 2 hours 15 minutesCar - 55 minutesIf public transport can reduce that time difference to under 1 hour 20 mins and improve reliability, I'll happily take public transport as the cost saving makes it viable. However the extra time saved by the car across all journeys makes it way more practical.

Our Response:
Yes, unless you live in or around London, or in the middle of another major city, public transport is not usually feasible simply because of the time it takes, the availability of it at all and the lack of reliability. (Sometimes it's actually more expensive too).
EnergySavingSecrets - 1-Nov-17 @ 1:46 PM
This is why I choose my car over public transport... Getting to work for 7am and leaving at 3pm (average times, used public for 5 years, car for 2) Public transport - 5 minute walk to bus stop, 20 minute bus to the town center, 10 minute wait, 20 minute bus to near my work, 10 minute walk to work... 65 minutes Leaving at 3 - 10 minute walk to bus stop, 20 minutes to town, 15 minute wait for connection, 20 minutes to near home, 5 minute walk - 70 minutes Car - 20 minutes to work 30 minutes home after work... Total public transport time - 2 hours 15 minutes Car - 55 minutes If public transport can reduce that time difference to under 1 hour 20 mins and improve reliability, I'll happily take public transport as the cost saving makes it viable. However the extra time saved by the car across all journeys makes it way more practical.
Adamrobertk - 30-Oct-17 @ 6:15 PM
EvaPilot1 - Your Question:
I have to question where you say it's cheaper to ride the bus. It might have been that way before, and it definitely makes sense that it should be cheaper with economies of scale, but £5.60 a day to get to work and back is ridiculous.

Our Response:
You're right, public transport is becoming more expensive especially if you put a cost on your own time (it's rarely quicker than a car unless there's a bus stop right outside your house). We will take a look at the article soon and make revisions if necessary.
EnergySavingSecrets - 27-Jul-17 @ 2:31 PM
I have to question where you say it's cheaper to ride the bus. It might have been that way before, and it definitely makes sense that it should be cheaper with economies of scale, but £5.60 a day to get to work and back is ridiculous.
EvaPilot1 - 25-Jul-17 @ 8:10 AM
Thanks . Helped me quite a lot.
San - 20-Apr-17 @ 5:18 PM
Will I agree public transportis better in built up areas unless its coordinated, makes sense and links lical people to local facilities it doesnt work. People will always use private transport or taxis. I see loads of people use taxis with shopping. Its either cost effective or links people up where they live better. By me there is no direct links to the supermarket 1.6 miles away so most use cars abd as we live on a hill and the transport to it doesnt go up there and the connections poor it means carrying stuff even a few bags isnt worth it by public transport. Public transport has to be improved and linked better if people are going to make a real switch. It often works out cheaper for groups by car and they can carry what they want when they want. Unless buses where people need to go are conveniently accessible again people rather than pay for cars for convenience and go where they want. I know a number of large roads by me that offer limited destinations at limited times. People use buses less as there is less options for them both time and place wise.
Mikeo - 11-Jan-17 @ 10:06 PM
Public transportation system is best as compare to private,bcuz this is cheap in cost,no need to search the location,everyone can afford it,on other hand,private transportation system is very expensive,people can't afford 'who belong from poor families,easily carry ours goods anywhere,if we go bye train,i can take a reservation before1,&1'half months so in my opinion public transportation system is best for travelling.
kaki - 26-Sep-16 @ 8:53 AM
The Train prices are terribly high, it takes longer too. The government pretends they want to help with global warming but they refuse to regulate the high price of public transport and bring it down to an acceptable level. I can get it my car and drive from Kent to Manchester at a fuel cost of approximately £30. The train ride costs £90. The government doesn't care a fig about the ozone layer, all these hypocrites really care about is money.
al - 26-Aug-16 @ 12:25 PM
Surely the reason people would rather drive is one of convenience? You can take more things with you, you can dictate when you wish to travel, you aren't subject to hot, overcrowded, non-air conditioned carriages. And, disputing your point of access in towns - certainly up North, public transport links aren't great. Many people who don't drive have to rely on taxi services anyway as public transport is either too poorly accessible or entails a frightful number of stops or changes. I am entirely a proponent of reducing our carbon footprint, but public transport as it is can be a challenge to the average working professional. Car pool anyone?
Chan - 8-Aug-16 @ 8:39 AM
I want to tell that public transport is very useful compare of private transport because I want to go any another country then we use to public transport because it is so far that we will bore in the sitting of my private transport so we use to pub trspt
n a - 3-Aug-16 @ 11:15 PM
The thing is, if it's so important to the environment for us to use public transport then bring the prices down. Don't blame us for using our cars when it works out cheaper for us.
al - 12-Jul-16 @ 1:58 PM
It's obvious that using public transportation systems reduce air pollution, although lack of enough tube lines in my country is cause of less use of public transport I live in Iran
Blue - 7-Jun-16 @ 9:44 AM
Priver transporte is better than public trancporte
pawan - 25-Dec-15 @ 1:31 AM
@YY. Thanks for the kind comments.
EnergySavingSecrets - 23-Oct-14 @ 10:17 AM
it helped me a lot! even though I'm in Japan, it was easy for me to understand
yy - 21-Oct-14 @ 8:45 AM
I just ran some numbers to work out how much it costs me per week to get to and from work on my motorbike (a trip of 10.2 miles each way) vs how much it would cost me on the bus On motorbike Fuel cost: 6p per mile Tax: £15 a year Insurance: £80 a year Total cost per week: £7.95 Cost of annual pass on bus: £470 Total cost per week : £470 / 52 = £9.04 Along with it being cheaper to run I also get the convenience of going when I want to go, it being faster (bus takes just over an hour, bike takes about 20 mins).Parking is almost always free for motorbikes even in car parks where cars have to pay. Apart from the environmental issues (which are greatly reduced by using a motorbike) what are my reasons for using public transport instead?
ChrisC - 23-Dec-13 @ 12:35 PM
This helped a lot!!! I could use this for an idea in naplan.
Real Madrid - 16-Mar-13 @ 10:28 PM
This helped me learn a lot and gave me a good explanation.
Radcircles - 16-Mar-13 @ 10:25 PM
There is a related article that can be found on the web called “public transport vs luxury chauffeur car”. It is a little tongue-in-cheek but does make you think. It argues that being chauffeur driven can work out than using public transport in central London. I assume this applies to any large city and depending on how much you travel each day for work. Perhaps being chauffeur driven is a cheaper alternative to driving yourself on occasion. just Google "Public Transport vs Luxury Chauffeur Car" and you can vote for walking, driving or taking public transport.
Lynn - 1-Feb-13 @ 10:48 PM
I always try to ride, walk or drive myself as I've always been very independent.
Vera - 29-Jan-13 @ 11:24 AM
I dislike public transport for a number of reasons 1 they dont leave when I want to leave 2 they are rarely availble after 6.30pm in rural areas 3 Other passengers are generally rude, noisey and pass germs about 4 the shelters are either too small, uncomfortable or no exsistent. 5 If Public transport or small cars are so good why don't royalty, politictions and the wealthy use them?
pita - 4-Dec-12 @ 4:31 PM
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