How Public Transport is Becoming More Sustainable

electrical point for transport
*Collaborative Post

By 2041, the London mayor wants 80 per cent of all trips in the capital to be made on foot, by cycle or on public transport. Because of this aim, everything from electric buses to connectivity to ticketing is being revamped as the capital and other UK cities face up to the public transport revolution. Here is how public transport is becoming more sustainable.

Electric transport

Electric vehicles (EVs) produce zero tailpipe emissions, thereby reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. With billions of local bus journeys made in England each year, cities are transitioning their public transport systems from diesel/petrol vehicles to electric buses, trams, and trains ­– and some are changing faster than others. In Coventry, £150 million is being spent to create Britain’s first all-electric bus city by 2025.

And for those who still need the accessibility of a car, it makes increasing sense to buy used cars for sale that are electric. This is because, as of July 2023, there were over 45,000 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, a 40% year-on-year increase.

Hybrid technology

This halfway house between natural resource fuel and electricity is becoming increasingly popular. As of March 2023, there were 3,835 hybrid London buses out of a fleet of over eight thousand.

Even taxi services are looking at the used car market for electric or hybrid model alternatives. Uber, the world’s biggest taxi hire company, issued a mission statement to use exclusively emission-free vehicles in USA, Canada and European cities by 2030 – and worldwide by 2040.

Smart traffic management

Smart traffic systems are another way to make cities more sustainable. By centrally controlling traffic signals and sensors, congestion can be improved on a city’s road network. Typical stop-start city driving increases air pollution from petrol vehicles so if traffic flow is smoother then there are fewer emissions.

Improved integration and connectivity with transport networks that offer easy connections between different modes of transport – e.g. buses, trains, trams, and bike-sharing systems – encourage more people to choose public transport for their entire journey.

E-ticketing and contactless payment

When something is easier to do, you’re more likely to do it. Hence, E-ticketing on public transport. When you can just tap ‘n’ board on public transport – instead of fumbling for tickets and change – then you’re more likely to jump on an electric bus. London has always been the trailblazer UK city for this with plenty of options for E-tickets and touch in and out.

And when a full double-decker bus can take 75 cars off the roads, the benefits of making buses and other forms of public transport more accessible are obvious. 

Trips on public transport are vital to encourage economic growth and increase an individual’s quality of life – and now that ­the sustainability issues are being addressed, hopefully, people won’t have to decide between freedom of movement and the future of the planet.

*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.

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