Access to Transportation: Benefits of Public Transportation

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Every day of our lives, we use some sort of transportation. Whether it be a car, a bike, or bus, people are constantly on the move to fulfill obligations, and get to places they need to be. Transportation is great for the ease of traveling; the only problem is not everyone has equal access to transportation. This can be a major problem in the lives of millions of people. People throughout the world in urban areas, and rural areas all have different problems when it comes to transportation. Technology has recently been a huge force in the transportation industry, with companies such as Uber and Lyft. I will discuss the access to transportation in Urban areas, and in rural areas, and how technology is changing how transportation works in today’s culture.

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People who live in urban areas have transportation problems that are very different then places such as rural areas. The problem isn’t a lack of transportation but a surplus of transportation. In urban areas traffic congestion is a huge problem in the lives of workers, companies, and in the future could be a problem for every living thing on this planet. Traffic congestion effects workers due to the fact the sheer number of vehicles causes long wait times, and lack of parking places. To see this in Lexington, we can go on almost any street in the city around 5:30. Also trying to park near a building such as Rupp arena becomes almost impossible at sometimes. This can cause people to be late to work, and other important events. This is also a major problem to companies and businesses around urban areas. Workers can be late, and customers can struggle accessing their business due to the lack of parking. The most harmful problem with the transportation in urban areas is the pollution vehicles are causing. The increased gas use and air pollution coming from all the transportation in urban areas are

destroying the Earth, this must be fixed soon or we will have a major problem in the future. According to national express transit “Cities can offer some solutions to gridlocks and congestion through a combination of better infrastructure metering on ramps, more HOV lanes, BRT systems, the addition of bike lanes, etc.” The real problem of Transportation in urban areas is that there is too much access to transportation rather than little access to transportation. Unlike urban areas, rural areas have a complete opposite problem with transportation. Lack of transportation and long distances between homes and stores are a huge problem for those who live in rural areas. According to the rural health info organization “Average trips for medical or dental services are about 9 miles longer in rural regions.” This lack of transportation leads to lack of access to health services and basic needs such as places to buy food and other necessities. Those who have access to their own car can be affected negatively by rising gas prices, which makes taking longer trips more expensive. Though this may seem like a major problem it is even more difficult for people who don’t own a car. People who do not have access to a car often have to rely on public transportation services, these can only take them so close to their desired location, which is a major problem. An example of this is the bus system on campus. A bus can only take me so close to my desired class which can sometimes make me late or make me walk a longer distance. The low population of rural areas also causes a major access problem. This creates a smaller amount of tax dollars meaning less infrastructure and public transportation systems can be built, affecting business owners, customers, and anyone who needs to travel. Overall, the problem of transportation in rural areas is very serious and solution must be worked on to provide access to those who need to travel. My third and final topic discusses how technology is affecting transportation in huge ways. Technology has provided advancements in transportation such as electric cars, maps,

cameras, fuel efficiency, and so much more. An example of technological benefits is that according to the United States Department of Transportation “According to the U.S. DOT’s Traffic Signal Timing Manual, TSC provides the ability to synchronize multiple intersections to enhance the operation of one or more directional movements in a system.” Some examples include arterial streets, downtown networks, and closely spaced intersections such as diamond interchanges. An example of this in Lexington is on Harrodsburg Road. TSC technologies had high annual mobility estimates of over $276.5 million. This shows that technology is helping transportation become more efficient and less expensive. Technology has also done wonders for problems of access to transportation. Companies such as Uber and Lyft have all came about due to modern technology. This allows those who may not have access to transportation to get the access they need. Transportation in minutes by a few taps on a phone has made it extremely convenient to get rides whenever one may want. An example of this is after a game at Rupp Arena. One can call an Uber and it will be there in under ten minutes, even though the area is super packed with people and cars. Technology has also helped access to transportation due to the fact it has developed better infrastructure and more productive public transportation systems. As technology progresses and develops, access to transportation can hopefully get better and become much more cost effective. In the end, technology can hopefully provide ample transportation to anyone who needs it. In the end, it is clear access to transportation is a major problem for those who live in rural areas, and those who live in urban areas. Many people struggle because of this lack of access and it is a problem that must be fixed. Technology is improving and fixing the problem of transportation has just started. It will take a lot of time and effort to solve the problem of access to transportation but that does not mean we shouldn’t do it. I hope one day everyone has the access to transportation they deserve, in seeing technological advancements, I believe that the future is bright and that it will be very possible to solve these major issues.

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