Above is an image of a Peter Pan bus which frequently gets bad press for being too expensive and inconvenient which could be a reason why public transport had not caught on when they were so common.
Younger people are getting increasingly more concerned about money, and the environment. According to the American Public Transport Association, “Public transportation provides an affordable, and for many, necessary, alternative to driving.” Most commuters are younger people and middle or lower class families, or even families that are coming under financial stress for whatever reason who could really use the advantages that public transport have to offer. Economic problems have always been an issue people have been worried about the environment however has only really had the entire public’s attention in the last few decades. Thom Patterson, Writer for CNN says that “The commuter culture got tired of traffic snarls and parking headaches. We may be seeing a statistical movement partially fueled by a generation that's more concerned than their parents about cutting air pollution.” Millennials care more about the environment probably more than any other previous generations, so it makes sense that if public transport was going to get popular it would be now. Public transport has been on the rise for years now, and is currently at its most popular in decades, but it is yet to be seen whether or not this increase in ridership will lead to anything significant.
How Is Public Transport Affecting America Right Now?
Two of public transports most important qualities are it’s extremely effective in cutting down carbon emissions, and it is also much less expensive than owning a car. If it can get even one more person not driving in a car by themselves that is a victory for the surrounding area. According to the American Public Transportation Association, “A single commuter switching his or her commute to public transportation can reduce a household’s carbon emissions by 10 percent and up to 30 percent if he or she eliminates a second car.” With the environment worsening every year people everywhere are very interested in helping their surrounding area. Although public transport isn’t just helping the environment, there is also a financial incentive. Millennials the youngest working generation who have traditionally had ridiculous financial issues with rising student loans among other expenses have been flocking to public transport in droves. According to Thom Patterson, a reporter for CNN, “The public transportation industry says commuters could gain an average annual savings of $9,635 by taking public transit instead of driving.” These are very good incentives to use public transport, but it is still unclear whether or not American public transport will sustain its popularity over time.
“APTA: U.S. public transportation systems see more riders in 2001; ridership shows 2.9 percent increase in second quarter.” (2001, Oct 03). U.S.Newswire, 2001, search.proquest.com/docview/450954994?accountid=42214 Accessed 24 January 2017.
"Public Transportation in America." YouTube, Uploaded by primebadi, 3 December 2009, www.youtube.com/watch?v=534NCRfsKSE.
"Facts." Apta.com.www.apta.com/mediacenter/ptbenefits/pages/factsheet.aspx. Accessed 20 January 2017.
Peyton Shepard, Cw Staff, Sean Landry. "America needs reliable public transportation" The Crimson White. www.cw.ua.edu/article/2017/01/america-needs-reliable-public-transportation. Accessed 25 January 2017.
Thom Patterson, Cnn. "5 signs America is falling in love with public transit." CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/17/travel/public-transportation-ridership-increasing/index.html. Accessed 8 February 2017.
Jeff Mcmahon. "Top Eight Reasons People Give Up On Public Transit." Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2013/03/06/top-eight-reasons-people-give-up-on-public-transit/ Accessed 14 Feb. 2017.
Fox, Justin. "Cars Are Still Beating Public Transit." Bloomberg View. https://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-01-28/cars-are-still-beating-public-transit Accessed 17 Feb. 2017.