Public transport

« Back to Glossary Index

– Types of Public Transport:
– City buses
– Trolleybuses
– Trams (light rail)
– Passenger trains
– Rapid transit systems (metro/subway/underground)

– Public Transport Routes:
– Fixed routes with set embarkation/disembarkation points
– Operated on prearranged timetables
– Most frequent services run on a headway basis
– Trips often involve multiple modes of travel
– Share taxis offer on-demand services

– Public Transport Systems Worldwide:
– Asia: Profit-driven, privately owned mass transit conglomerates
– North America: Municipal transit authorities commonly operate
– Europe: State-owned and private companies operate systems
– Differences in public transport usage internationally
– International Association of Public Transport (UITP) with 1,900+ members globally

– High-Speed Rail and Intercity Transport:
– Dominated by airlines, coaches, and intercity rail
– Development of high-speed rail networks globally
Air travel not always included in public transport discussions
– Paratransit for low-demand areas and door-to-door services
– Share taxis complement or compete with fixed lines

– Trends in Public Transport:
– Decline in public transport usage in some high-wealth cities
– Reasons for the decline include rise in alternative transportation
– Public transport managed on schedules with posted fees
– Public transit differs across Asia, North America, and Europe
– UITP as the global network for public transport authorities

Public transport (Wikipedia)

Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, mass transit, or simply transit) is a system of transport for passengers by group travel systems available for use by the general public unlike private transport, typically managed on a schedule, operated on established routes, and that may charge a posted fee for each trip. There is no rigid definition of which kinds of transport are included, and air travel is often not thought of when discussing public transport—dictionaries use wording like "buses, trains, etc." Examples of public transport include city buses, trolleybuses, trams (or light rail) and passenger trains, rapid transit (metro/subway/underground, etc.) and ferries. Public transport between cities is dominated by airlines, coaches, and intercity rail. High-speed rail networks are being developed in many parts of the world.

Taipei Metro
Ferry in the United States
Passenger train in Japan
Bus in England
Examples of types of public transport. Clockwise from top left: A rapid transit system in Taiwan, a ferry in the United States, a bus in England, and a commuter rail in Japan.

Most public transport systems run along fixed routes with set embarkation/disembarkation points to a prearranged timetable, with the most frequent services running to a headway (e.g.: "every 15 minutes" as opposed to being scheduled for any specific time of the day). However, most public transport trips include other modes of travel, such as passengers walking or catching bus services to access train stations. Share taxis offer on-demand services in many parts of the world, which may compete with fixed public transport lines, or complement them, by bringing passengers to interchanges. Paratransit is sometimes used in areas of low demand and for people who need a door-to-door service.

Urban public transit differs distinctly among Asia, North America, and Europe. In Asia, profit-driven, privately owned and publicly traded mass transit and real estate conglomerates predominantly operate public transit systems.[citation needed] In North America, municipal transit authorities most commonly run mass transit operations. In Europe, both state-owned and private companies predominantly operate mass transit systems.

For geographical, historical and economic reasons, differences exist internationally regarding the use and extent of public transport. The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) is the international network for public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry. It has over 1,900 members from more than 100 countries from all over the globe.

In recent years, some high-wealth cities have seen a decline in public transport usage.[citation needed] A number of sources attribute this trend to the rise in popularity of remote work, ride-sharing services, and car loans being relatively cheap across many countries. Major cities such as Toronto, Paris, Chicago, and London have seen this decline and have attempted to intervene by cutting fares and encouraging new modes of transportation, such as e-scooters and e-bikes. Because of the reduced emissions and other environmental impacts of using public transportation over private transportation, many experts have pointed to an increased investment in public transit as an important climate change mitigation tactic.

« Back to Glossary Index