For my topic, I have chosen the issue of secondary forms of public transportation. Every city and the majority of towns have some sort of public transportation. Whether that be the bus, the train (metro/subway) or even taxi services (Uber/Lyft). However, at the current moment these services cost money and for that reason people try to stay away from this unless they have to. If these services were free or paid by the government I feel as though more people would use them. Also, adding another, secondary form of public transportation, such as rentable bikes that are located at bus stops can be very crucial. Especially for smaller cities whose bus stops dont always go exactly where you need them to go. With global climate being impacted by the burning of fossil fuels having a form of free public transportation is crucial the the environmental protection of our planet, Earth.
Having public transportation that is funded by the government will increase the number of people who use the transportation that is already available to them. The main reason people dont use public transportation is because they feel it takes longer and is more expensive. However, depending on the car you drive you may save money from not having to buy gasoline. Technological advancements in public transportation have created buses and trains that emit less pollution than ever before. This in turn means that every person who takes the bus is saving the planet from their car pollution. The government should take more concern about this. I believe that people should be compensated for taking public transportation. One person alone causes about a pound of carbon emissions per mile driven. This means that if they travel 20 miles round trip his or her daily carbon emissions are 20 pounds, or more than 4800 pounds a year (1).
Having a secondary source of transportation can have a huge impact on the number of people who use public transportation. These can be located where the primary source drops you off as well as other areas. It allows those who use the public transportation to get to the places that the primary source of transportation does not take you. One form of secondary transportation could be rentable bikes at bus stops. When getting off of the bus, you simply swipe your membership card in the machine and then you can take the bike wherever you please until you are required to return it or take the bus back. This helps with both the commuters from both close and far get to where they need to be.
Adding more bike lanes to city streets can help to influence the use of secondary means of transportation. In addition to having more bike lanes, having parts of the city that can only be reached by bike or other secondary forms of transportation can help to persuade people to use these secondary forms of transportation. Have these Car-less zones can help reduce the fossil fuel emissions that are created by cars. This would most likely target the all class levels, aside from the bottom class citizens who cannot afford the secondary transportation membership or fees that would likely be attached to the modes of transportation.
There is then the issue of, what if you do not know how to ride a bike? Well we can offer other modes of secondary transportation for these kinds of people. Modes such as scooters, skateboards, hover boards or seaways. There are electric scooters, and skateboards that can be used as well. But before this can be approved we must check the carbon footprint of these electrical secondary forms of transportation.
As for rewarding the current green citizens, those who currently own a hybrid or electric vehicle can be granted one of three things. One thing that would help Lexingtons traffic issue as well as its emission would be to have HOV lanes implemented all over Lexington to influence carpooling as well as hybrid or electric car use. They can also be offered incentives to become an Uber or any other taxi service since a hybrid or electric car gives off the least emissions. These incentives could be to have all or portions of their gasoline paid for, since they will not be using a lot due to the fact they drive a hybrid or electric car. And finally, the easiest reward that could be the most beneficial for the green drivers is that there would be green car parking spaces. Almost like handicap spaces for hybrid and/or electric cars.
While some might think that raising the price of gas guzzlers or just cars in general may save people from causing fossil fuel emissions it is the complete opposite. People will buy cars no matter the price because in the USA a car is a necessity if you do not live in a large city. If you raise the price of cars people will only try to use their cars as much as possible in order for them to feel as though they are getting the best use out of their money. This is also the same case with building new roads. If new roads are build, people will drive on them. No question. The roads will always hold traffic due to the fact that people need to get from point A to point B
in a timely matter. These are two types of bus systems that need looking at. The city public transportation buses as well as those good old yellow school buses we all know and love from grade school. Both of these bus systems need to evolve into hybrid buses. According to the federal government, diesel buses cause lung cancer, asthma attacks, chronic bronchitis and heart disease (2). I know it is a huge effort to figure out how to do this efficiently due to the carbon footprint of the old buses not being used. However, it is a serious issue that must be addressed. There must be some sort of use that the old busses can be put towards. The old buses could even be scraped for parts to reduce the waste.
While targeting the main issues with pollution and transportation I would like to take a moment to address other outliers that are affecting the ozone. First and foremost, the gas-powered lawnmowers and garden equipment. These can release a fair amount of pollution, especially when being used in a large scale for landscaping companies. The government should require that landscaping companies as well as regular house holds all use electric powered lawnmowers and garden equipment. While this seems small, it is an easy resolution that could help the citys emission issues. Another small factor is golf carts at golf courses. Some golf carts are gas and some are electric however they all need to be electric. Other gas powered luxury vehicles, or vehicles that are not used in day to day transportation, should also be limited. For example, not having more than one car per licensed driver in the house hold could be a law. The government wont be able to illegalize the use of dirt bikes or ATVs however, over use of these gas-powered toys can be bad for fossil fuel emissions for the city if people are not careful. In brief, gas powered maintenance, toys and utility vehicles must be monitored in order to help reduce the emissions associated.
Aside from the restriction and/or use of gas powered maintenance, toys, utility vehicles and different methods of transportation that can help to lower fuel emissions, there are other ways to reduce greenhouse gases. Using less heat and air conditioning. Adding insulation to your walls or around windows and doors can lower heating costs by up to 25 percent. Using less hot water and washing your clothes in warm or cold water reduces the energy used. This alone can save almost 500 pounds of carbon dioxide in most households (3). Replace your standard light bulbs with CFL or compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs last 10 times longer and give off 70 percent less heat than standard light bulbs. It is estimated that if every Canadian family replaced one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent lightbulb it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases (3). Changing the light bulb has the same effect as taking 7.5 million cars off the road (3). Changing to compact fluorescent lightbulbs has a huge effect on the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted and therefore must be required in all government buildings in order to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Accordingly, one way that people could be help to lower fossil fuel emissions is that if quarterly, there was a day where no one is allowed to drive their cars anywhere. They would be forced to use the public transportation system to get from point A to point B. Think about that for a second. A day where no one is driving? Just cutting one persons daily 20 mile commute cuts out 20 pounds of emissions. Can you imagine if everyones daily commute was cut out, even just for a day? This would save a huge amount of carbon emissions. Of course there are always the government vehicles (such as mail, trash, ect.), public transportation, green taxi services and delivery trucks that would have to be allowed to be on the roads. However, in comparison this is a significant drop off for the emission levels. If that is too hard, even a set day each month where you are required to carpool would have the same affect.
In America, time is money. The main reasons people dont use public transportation is because it costs money and takes longer. Having a secondary source of transportation can speed your trip up. The longer you need to travel after the primary source of transportation the faster it will make your trip. The carbon footprint left by daily commuter can be greatly diminished simply by using transportation services that are already provided. With minor adjustments, the transportation system can be taken to the next level. This will assist with the carbon footprints and emissions that are left behind when driving a person car. By far the easiest thing someone can do to help lower emissions is to drive more fuel efficiently. Remember, if the pedal is to the floor, the earth will be no more.
Vehicle travel reduction strategies are key in reduction the levels of fossil fuel emission. The principle behind these strategies is the reduction of mileage travelled in personal motor vehicles. Mileage reduction occurs through the elimination of trips, reduction of trip lengths and seeking alternatives mode that consume less energy. Apart from reducing the pollutant emission, vehicle travel reduction also result in reduced traffic congestion and improves fuel economy for the vehicles that remain on the road. Some of the mechanism for reducing personal vehicle mileage include travel pricing mechanism, parking management, land use planning measures and provision of alternative modes. As earlier stated some of the alternative modes include high occupancy vehicles, electric cars and public transportation with the support of secondary forms of transport such as bicycle-support facilities. However, the alternative mode mechanism does not tackle the problem fully hence the need to implement the other mechanisms to support them.
Travel pricing mechanism entails the development and implementation of policies that aim at increasing the cost of personal travel. If the increasing the prices of cars will make people use their cars more frequently, the best solution is to target the secondary cost incurred during travels. Some of the effective travel pricing mechanism include increasing road pricing, VMT fees and fuel pricing. The effectiveness of increasing road pricing and VMT fees is dependent on the level of fee charged per mile, current cost of driving per mile, responsiveness of travelers to the price of travel and the nature and extent of pricing. Policies involving elevation of fuel prices are also dependent on several factors in order to be efficient; these are the level of gas tax increase, and long-term responses to the new fuel prices. Increasing fuel prices results in i...
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