Envirospeak: Public Transport
By Maggie Riddington // 13:00, Friday 9 March 2012
Public transport often gets a bad rap because of various things, but increasingly it is becoming a more affordable and enjoyable option than driving a car.
As we all know, public transport is better for the environment than driving a car. On average, trains produce 35% fewer emissions than cars and just think of all the people being transported by those trains! Public transport reduces pollution. It also reduces the need for carparks that take up valuable land that could otherwise be used for buildings or crops. In one year, a train can reduce carbon emissions to the extent that planting 320 hectares of trees would. So the environmental benefits are obvious.
It is quite a common occurrence for an environmental issue to go unattended because people feel that benefiting the environment alone is not enough reason to make changes. A lot of people are more motivated by social or financial benefits. So in this case, though the environmental benefits are clear other benefits may not be.
But trains benefit people too. Trains encourage a sense of community among passengers. They allow you to be more productive than if you were in a car as you can do other activities such as read or knit. The risks associated with car accidents are reduced when taking public transport.
Public transport is much more affordable than running a car. Between expenses such as fuel, insurance, registration and maintenance a humble Toyota Camry costs approximately $220 a week to run. A Ford Territory can cost up to $253 a week and the popular Toyota Landcruiser can put you $418 out of pocket a week. They are huge expenses. A weekly ticket with V/Line, from Warragul to Melbourne, for a full-fare paying adult during peak periods costs $78 dollars and from Warragul to Traralgon costs only $51 for the week. That is significantly more affordable than running a car.
So next time you need to get from A to B, consider the opportunity to meet someone new on the train, to read that book you couldn’t put down the night before, to save yourself quite a few dollars and while you’re doing all that you are becoming part of a positive change for the environment.
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