It is self-evident that many cities’ current forms of transportation, even those in some affluent countries, are unsustainable.
Based on the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, traffic congestion costs the US economy $179 billion annually, and the typical commuter spends 54 hours per year stuck in traffic. As a result, the increased number of cars on the road and the associated traffic congestion have resulted in lost revenue and productivity time – not to mention adverse effects on public health and the environment.
So, the most critical subject we must address is how to make transportation more sustainable. It all starts with thinking sustainably, comprehending the long-term benefit of sustainable transportation, and implementing sustainable transportation networks. This article will discuss why sustainable transport is essential, sustainable transportation solutions, and sustainable transportation best practices for any city.
The Importance of Sustainable Transport
There are several advantages of sustainable transportation, some of which extend far beyond solving road transport issues:
Reduces Environmental Impact
Non-motorized modes of transportation, such as cycling and walking, have almost little environmental effect. You don’t contribute to greenhouse gases, the energy you use is minimal, and there is no to little noise pollution you create. Additionally, public transportation systems minimize the number of cars on the road, resulting in lower emissions per passenger miles traveled than single-occupancy cars.
Diminishes Road Congestion
Sustainable transportation means fewer traffic bottlenecks because of fewer private cars on the road. This implies that individuals can travel more quickly, especially in busy urban areas. Additionally, by increasing the number of open roads and areas, we can better protect our natural ecosystem.
Public transportation reduces overall transportation expenses by reducing traffic jams and fewer maintenance costs.
Increases Life Quality
Travelers can spend more time doing the things they love instead of trying to find a parking space or getting stuck in traffic. Plus, having more open roads for pedestrians, cyclists, and greenbelts will allow people to enjoy their daily lives.
Improves Air Quality
Sustainable transportation benefits the Health and well-being of individuals. Cycling and walking are fantastic methods of including physical exercise into your daily routine and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
By being aware and reducing the energy used, sustainable transportation can save much energy in transit systems. It will also reduce fuel consumption, thereby reducing the number of carbon emissions released into our atmosphere.
What Can We See in the Future of Sustainable Transportation?
Many new means of transportation have emerged in recent years, alongside classic forms of transportation such as bicycles, trains, and buses. A few examples of sustainable transport include electric scooters, electric bicycles, and other personal mobility vehicles that have taken on the look of personal mobility vehicles (PMVs). In most circumstances, these means of transportation are considered eco-friendly alternatives.
Using an electric bike is also one way of taking a more sustainable approach to transportation. Electric bikes are like regular bikes, except they have electric motors built into them that give the rider extra power and easier pedaling on hilly terrain. They can get about 25 miles per charge but can be recharged often.
Electric scooters emit less CO2 than automobiles. You can use it individually, and it has a limited lifespan: between a year to three years, or even less than a year.
Powered by hydrogen, these vehicles are a clean and safe alternative to conventional cars. There are already places that use hydrogen cars, like London, Tokyo, and San Francisco. This is especially useful in areas with limited access to power sources, such as off-grid communities with no access to electricity or natural gas lines.
Eco-Friendly Transport to Adopt in Everyday Life
Changing our travel patterns to a more sustainable one offers several benefits, including reduced CO2 emissions, financial savings, and reduced stress and fatigue.
- 30 minutes of walking is a reasonable amount of time perfect for your Health, according to the World Health Organization.
- 30 minute bike ride is ideal for doing little errands like buying groceries or heading to the pharmacy for some meds.
- 2 hours on a train for work or 4 hours by train for a recreational trip can be sometimes more budget-friendly and, at the same time, environmentally friendly than air travel.
Is it impossible for you to give up your car? Consider reducing your environmental effect through the adoption of good habits:
- Car sharing: For example, with your coworkers: sharing cars eliminates the need to buy more cars and spend more money on maintenance.
- Good driving style: How you drive affects your fuel consumption. Thus, one may significantly minimize fuel use by abstaining from specific behaviors such as excessive speed or deflated tires.
Sustainable Transportation Best Practices
1. Define What Sustainable Transportation You Can Do in Your City
Defining what you want to achieve for your city is essential when planning for sustainable transportation. A better quality of life for citizens, creating a dense and green metropolis, or reducing the gap between rich and poor are all examples of possible outcomes.
Your goals should center on all of the improvements that your city needs. Begin by asking questions such as:
- Does your city needs wider pavements?
- Does your city needs more biking lanes on streets or roads?
- Does your city needs more public buses for its residents?
- How accessible would these buses be to residents and visitors?
The bottom line is that each city has its own set of holes to fill when it comes to sustainable transportation, and you must define yours from the start to address them.
2. Make Sure to Balance Out Between Humans, Vehicles, & Environment
Sustainable transportation is a term that refers to a healthy and dynamic balance between humans, automobiles, and natural systems. Making transportation more sustainable entails increasing accessibility to city roads and streets for everybody – regardless of their economic situation. Additionally, sustainability takes the preservation of the environment into account.
3. Create a System That Will Serve as a Guide for the Implementation & Maintenance Processes
Three components influence the implementation of sustainable transportation: economic, environmental, and social issues. This trio is referred to as the triple bottom line of sustainability.
It would help if you started using these triple bottom lines as a system or framework to build, execute, and manage a sustainable system effectively.
4. Use Time as a Milestone While You Strive Toward Your Objectives
Creating sustainable transportation requires using a timetable to track and assess progress. According to Dr. Barry Wellar, the concept of sustainability is a time-consuming process. As a result, we must reject euphemisms like ‘soon’ and ‘near future.’
Specific projects and plans should have distinct beginning and ending points. It might be a matter of hours, months, or seasons. This allows you to track actual progress and assess whether or not you’re on track.
Overall, sustainable transportation is a widely discussed issue. Sure, it can be challenging to implement sustainable transportation plans because it requires the cooperation of different sectors. However, a framework can help your progress toward reaching your goals. And, some suggestions can help you change the norms. In the end, it is essential to remember that sustainable transportation requires a vision and a timeline. These are the main components that will help you track your progress.
What are ways in which you think people can get around their cities more efficiently and sustainably? Could you share some of the most popular ideas with us? Are there any popular ideas that people have come up with to improve their city’s transportation system? Thank you for reading!