There are three different Modes of Transport. The difference in each is the form of power. The first and the most obvious is people using their own power. This can mean walking, running or cycling. Then there are two forms of motorized transport. Machines powered by electricity and those powered by internal combustion engines. Each has their advantages as well as an environmental and economic impact, which have to be taken into consideration.
Going anywhere under your own power is the most sustainable and the cheapest form of transport. But it’s not always practical and there’s a limit to the length of the journey. Bicycles extend the distance people can take themselves, but there is a limit. Professional cyclists taking part in the Tour de France can ride around 100 miles a day but it’s not possible for the average commuter to match their fitness levels or afford the equipment they use.
In terms of environmental impact, the next best options are trains and streetcars. These are now powered by electricity, so are more sustainable than the old diesel locomotives.
Train Stations are found in cities and most major towns across the globe. Big cities have more than one station and places like London and New York have their own underground subway systems. Monorails networks also exist as public transport. Not so long ago they were only found in tourist destinations like Walt Disney World. Now cities in South Korea and India are building monorail lines and there is a public monorail running in Las Vegas.
Trains in the majority of the countries are electric locomotives, although in China steam locomotives can still be found. This makes trains an environmentally sustainable way to travel and the same can be said for streetcars, which are enjoying a resurgence in popularity.
Streetcars are a quick way to get around a busy city, so places like Memphis, Seattle and San Francisco have upgraded their networks to meet fresh demand. In addition, cities like Detroit and Washington D. C have unveiled plans to implement their own networks in the near future.
But no matter what incentives there are to take public transport, the car always remains a popular choice. Since 1960 annual mileage across America has tripled as more cars were put onto the roads. Although there’s a movement towards hybrid vehicles, the take up is very slow. Today vehicles only account for 4% of annual car sales so the majority of the annual mileage is completed by gasoline and diesel cars.
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