As all students
know, the bus is the most common method of public transport. The bus is
updating its image and its technology. No longer are the buses dirty and
uncomfortable. Here in Birmingham we have buses for the 21st century.
The bus is one of the best methods of public transport. It is relatively efficient, and can carry large numbers of people. It is convenient and can be quicker than other methods, e.g. cycling or walking.
According to the
latest statistics, 90% of people have a bus stop within a seven minute
walk from their home. However, in general, bus patronage has fallen by
some 50% since 1970.
Compared to the
cost of a city centre parking space, currently valued at three thousand
pounds, then Public Transport seems more economical.
Annual Pass Costs:
Details can be found on the Travel West Midlands website at www.travelwm.co.uk
London Transport System
The transport system in London has been regulated and competitively tendered. This
means that they are operated by a private company, but are controlled and regulated by local council. This gives the local council an avenue to invest in the transport systems of the area, without the running costs. The system appears to be working, because the patronage of London's buses has fallen by just 20% since 1970, compared to a national average of 56%. Some of this may be due to the fact that the red London buses are traditional tourist attractions, and people may ride them as tourists, rather than commuters.
Birmingham's Showcase Routes
Currently, there are various showcase routes in Birmingham. The main one is the 50/50Y route, which runs from the Maypole in to the City Centre along the Alcester Road. At peak times, these brand new buses run every four minutes. The buses are spacious, well-designed, clean, and user friendly. In addition, a bus lane has been constructed along the majority of the route, allowing the buses to miss the traffic.
The 50 route is regarded as one of the finest in Europe. The other route is the Tyburn Road route, which will improve all aspects of bus travel along the Tyburn Road. Like the 50 route, this showcase will include the construction of bus priority measure, and bus only access from Castle Vale on to the Kingsbury Road. The buses will be new single decker low floor kneeling buses which have easy access for people with disabilities and passengers with pushchairs and young children. The route will also incorporate surface level pedestrian crossings, and parking along the road. Cyclists will also be allowed use of the bus lanes along the route. There will also be new shelters, with passenger information and tactile paving to help blind or partially sighted users.
Double-decker buses are a popular form of public transport in London, where parking can be extremely difficult. The advantages of using buses within a city include the low cost, the relative freedom from stress in driving and parking a car, and, in this case, the view. Efforts to conserve energy and reduce traffic and pollution have encouraged more people to use buses, and more cities to extend the scope of their bus systems
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|The Bus as Public Transport||Walking and Cycling||Links and Bibliography|
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