Is public transportation the future?

Students talk about their experiences with public transportation and compare it to their own personal transportation.


With global warming becoming a growing issue, climate activists are pushing for the abolition of private transportation and forcing everyone to take buses, cabs, and other public transportation. However, it’s left others wondering if this would actually fix anything about greenhouse gas emissions, or actually make it worse. 

Emissions are not the only issue with public transportation, this could be extremely uncomfortable for people, taking a bus everywhere they have to go.

“I’ve seen homeless people and tweakers on the same busses as me, and I didn’t feel safe at all. I would have felt better if I had my own car where someone can’t just walk up to me,”  junior Wyatt Keith said.

There are a lot of differences between a personal car and a bus. In your car, music is your choice, and nobody can complain. It’s usually more comfortable to be in for long periods of time, and a personal car is the owner’s space; they don’t have to share any of it with strangers. 

“There’s a weird feeling on a bus when someone you’ve never seen sit next to you and anything could happen. It’s super creepy and the main reason I don’t take a bus,” senior Joshua Webber said. 

With the average bus ride costing two dollars and having an average of 50 people on it, while the bus gets three and a half miles per gallon, each person is really only using about 0.07miles per gallon. The average bus ride being 15 miles means each person is using just over a gallon of gas. If they aren’t the only person on the bus; if we assume five people use the same stops as each other the fuel consumption is 0.2 gallons each ride. Meaning a bus is effectively much better for the environment than personal transportation considering the average consumption of fuel for personal transport is 25 miles per gallon. If those same five people drove their own cars using about 0.6 gallons to travel the same distance they use a total of three gallons, while the bus uses one. ( according to King County Data)

However, getting people to take a bus is much more difficult than it seems. For one, most people don’t want to be forced to take a bus everywhere.

“If the government tried to take away my car and force me to take a bus everywhere I wanted to go, I would move to another country,” senior Brody Moye.

The government would have to reimburse people for their cars which averaged out according to the U.S. census data would cost them $2,916,012,406,536. An incredible amount of that would be impossible to get without tanking our economy. 

While it is an amazing idea from an ecological perspective, economically it would be impossible to accomplish without huge repercussions. Which basically means it won’t be happening. The smart thing would be to make public transportation free for everyone because that would still lower the amount of emissions emitted.