Traffic and Transportation in American cities

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Part of a discussion about issues confronting American cities…provide an opinion paper on how mass transit will solve many urban problems for American cities. Provide a good argument and substantiate the ideas.

Mass transit is the process whereby there is a movement of people from urban area to the city perhaps to conduct business or for leisure and work. These people use different travel technologies like buses and trains. Essentially, the most critical aspect of mass transit is that a group of people are taken from point A to a prescribed destination using the same means of transit. In this case for the USA it will be buses and trains. Of interest to us is that these vehicles enable high efficiency which works out in the form of lower cost to commuters. Examples of rail transportation in American urban mass-transit systems are Bay Area Rapid Transit, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority and Metrorail. Over the years, mass transit has been a solution to urban problems for American cities. The focus of this paper is to substantiate the view that mass transit is a solution to urban travel and other issues.

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Transit systems will help the movement of people across cities because it is quick and very efficient. Modern technology has enabled the automated rapid rails to move thousands of commuters within different time frames at a reasonable cost. The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) in San Francisco serves as a useful example as it consists of more than 75 miles (120 kilometers) of track. Additionally, there are about 100 trains operating at peak times during the day. Consumers continue to look out for speedy services that allows for easy movement. For governments benefit-to-cost analysis can be used to map transportation undertakings for other public-sector investments.

The use of automobiles though has lead to the reduction of public transit system I believe. There is however, the need to develop and utilize mass transit systems that can assist in the reduction of traffic into and going out of the city area. Trends pointing towards the dispersal of people and businesses in urban areas, it might be difficult to suggest whether mass transit will appreciably diminish motor vehicle traffic. Still, in most cities, bus systems can provide support for commuters. Overall information records that mass transit systems still have to deal with traffic congestion which seems to be endemic to urban areas that a larger. Interestingly, this problem is being dealt with by burying tracks and stations underground. So the subway systems are helping out.

In San Francisco, the ferries have helped to cover passenger travels. Like a water taxi system, these ferries have been affected by the building of huge bridges. It was said that these ferries were capable of delivering more passengers to the Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street than those who arrived using any other form of at any other form of transportation with the exception of Charing Cross railway station in London. Now the ferries have become and sight for tourism as people use the ferries to give tours.

The taxicab service is also very efficient. A restriction of it though is that it is usually more high cost than other forms of transportation yet they are flexible. We must consider individuals who are out of the reach of a subway system or a bus service. Although fuel prices have affected this form of transit mostly, commuters are still willing to continue hiring cabs to assist with driving. Notably there has not been major drop-off in terms of people not taking cabs, trains or buses. Some people still believe that as long as mass transit systems are improving it is easier for them to take and use. Statistics show that public transportation ridership rose 3.2% in the first six months of 2006 vs. January-June 2005, according to the American Public Transportation Association. They have noted it as the largest increase for the first half of a year since 2000 and more than double the gain seen in the same period in 2005.

Mass transit will solve urban problems because it is reliable. Without major power outages each transit system is very reliable. You can depend on a bus to come on time, or a train to take you safely across country. Now that life has become so busy, it is just as easy to login online to google transit and search to find an appropriate. It allows you to get a step by step direction guide, find a particular transit stop or view a station for information and scheduled trips. For in this way it saves time and money for urban commuters and it eases the stress of thinking about which mode is quicker.

The mass transit system in the United States is very efficient. From the time of water ferries, to intercity buses, to trains, subways and airplanes, mass commuting is a time and energy saver. It is dependable, efficient, cheap and available. The challenge with these systems is that they have to be continuously improved so that people can continue seeing the need to use the services provided.


 American Society of Traffic and Transportation. 1990. Transportation Journal. American Society of Transportation and Logistics.

American Society of Civil Engineers. 1969. Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE. University of Michigan.

Government Research Corporation. 1975. National Journal Reports. University of Michigan.


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