For years, environmentally friendly commuters have relied on public transportation to get to their destinations, and they’ve urged others to do the same. Exhaust emissions from cars include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and particulates, all of which are hazardous to our health and to the environment. Public transportation reduces people’s reliance on their vehicles and cuts down on pollution, but it isn’t always perfect. After all, taxis and buses produce the same exhaust emissions as other cars and trucks, so they still contribute to pollution problems.
Although public transportation does contribute to our country’s air pollution problem, it is still a step in the right direction. Increased use of public transportation means fewer cars on the road and less air pollution. But there is still more that can be done. This is why many forms of public transportation have gone green and become more environmentally friendly. Here are just a few ways that public transportation is going green and what it means for our health and the environment.
Hybrid vehicles have always been a popular option for the environmentally conscious. Not only do they cut down on exhaust emissions, they get much better gas mileage than the traditional gas guzzlers that we’ve been driving. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many cities are switching or have already switched to hybrid buses. These newer buses have many advantages over the traditional diesel-powered models. They significantly reduce the emissions that create smog and greenhouse gases, reduce fuel consumption by about 25 percent, and are easier and cheaper to maintain. They are also much quieter than diesel buses but are every bit as reliable.
If you live in a major metropolitan area, you have no doubt seen these hybrid buses on the roads. If you haven’t, feel free to write to your city’s representatives and ask that your community make the change to hybrid buses.
In addition to hybrid buses, many cities have embraced light rail transportation systems. Light rail is a generic term referring to passenger trains that operate in urban areas along fixed metal rails. These trains are in effect the modern versions of the rail cars that were once fixtures in many urban areas years ago, and in recent years they have been seen as a viable solution to the increasing traffic congestion throughout our country’s urban and suburban areas. They create no emissions at street level, they usually provide a more direct route to a destination, they are faster than other forms of public transportation, and they are more affordable for the average commuter. The only major downside that light rail systems have for many communities is that they do cost a lot of money to build and implement, but many commuters and city officials agree that the benefits are well worth the cost.
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What You Can Do
Naturally, those who can make the biggest positive impact on the environment through increased public transportation use are the commuters themselves. As much as we like to think otherwise, we don’t need to rely on our cars all the time. Children can walk to school if they live close by, people can take a bus or a train for long trips, and some people can even telecommute instead of spending an hour in rush hour traffic to get to work. Things can change for the better, but only if we make changes ourselves and live a greener lifestyle.
This article was provided by Amanda Ries, eco-friendly consumer and sustainability advocate. If you’re a business looking for a trusted way to ship things that’s important to you, Amanda recommends Diamond Transportation, a trucking company.