Two sides of the story
Take a look at these pictures. They show the positive and negative sides of private transport. On the positive side, it offers personal freedom and the ability to travel where you want and when you want. On the negative side, it is less efficient at carrying people and the sheer number of cars can create traffic jams and pollution.
Buses can be very efficient at carrying large numbers of people in urban areas. As a result they use less space and fuel and create less pollution per person than private transport. The problem is that buses are less convenient than private transport for complicated journeys or when carrying luggage, travelling in a remote area or at night.
Do the answers vary depending on where you live? Find out why people do/don’t use public transport. What is public transport like where you live? Consider for instance convenience, value, frequency and speed.
To help you make your decisions try finding out some information about how much cars cost to buy, how much they cost to run, how reliable and how convenient they are. Find out the same information about buses from your local bus company. How regular are local buses and do they go where you want to go?
The increase in private car ownership has done much to change the balance of transport use. For instance, more cars in some places have meant that there are fewer buses for people who cannot use cars.
This Dial-a-Ride bus offered one solution to this problem. You would telephone to arrange to be picked up from home by the bus but the route to your destination would vary depending on the needs of the other passengers. The system is still commonplace and works well for older people or those with disabilities. It provides the door to door convenience of private transport but with the lower cost of bus travel.
You can download high resolution versions of images on this page at the 'gallery'