Benefits of public transport

Imagine any major city of the world without a public transport network. How do people travel to work, to school, or to see friends and family? What are the effects, if the only transport choice available to a city’s four million citizens is by car? The answer is chaos. A city without public transport is a city that regularly grinds to a halt.

Public transport is crucial to the livability of any city. More than 1.8 million journeys are made on Melbourne’s trains, trams and buses every weekday. However the social, economic and environmental benefits extend beyond those who use it regularly. Here’s a snapshot of the advantages of public transport:

Social

Public transport:

  • Helps foster a sense of community. For example, people travelling together are more likely to feel a community connection than those travelling in cars in isolation.
  • Encourages people to have a more active healthy lifestyle, particularly if they are walking or cycling to their station or stop.
  • Helps reduce injuries and fatalities caused by car accidents.
  • Provides accessible transport for people regardless of demographics such as income or age.
  • Is less stressful. Rather than driving in traffic or wasting time looking for an elusive car park, public transport passengers can relax and listen to music, play computer games or read a book.

Economic

Public transport:

  • Travel is cheaper than owning and operating a car.
  • Reduces the need for building vast car parks on valuable land that could have otherwise been used as highly prized office or retail space.
  • Reduces reliance on rapidly decreasing oil supplies.

Environmental

Public transport:

  • Reduces pollution and road congestion - the more people who travel by train, tram or bus, the fewer cars on the road.
  • Requires less land use than road infrastructure.