Public or Private?
Some arrogant opinionated politically-correct do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do people would have you believe that public transport is good, but private transport is bad. But is it really that simple?
What is conventionally termed public transport usually consists of large vehicles owned by private companies. The public has to pay to use these vehicles, which are only available at times and places decided by the private company. They only go to places decided by the private company — they are thus extremely inflexible, and as a result inefficient in transporting people direct from A to B. The service is run as much for the financial benefit of the private company as the travelling public.
What is conventionally termed private transport consists of small vehicles owned by the public, albeit on an individual basis. Members of the public who own one of these vehicles have access to them 24 hours a day and can go where they want, when they want. They are completely flexible and thus highly efficient in transporting people direct from A to B.
Unusually for what is a private form of transport, bicycles are also pronounced by the politically correct to be good. In London, however, there are public transport bikes that can be hired, these are obviously pronounced to be very good.
Fundamental Problems with Public Transport
Supply & Demand
With public transport, supply can only be exactly matched to demand if people have to book well in advance. Hence airlines can operate efficiently but people may have to book weeks in advance. For bus and rail services that run largely on a turn up and go basis, it is impossible to fill all seats with advance booking.
Consequently many buses and trains frequently have many empty seats. Large vehicles running with many empty seats are being grossly inefficient, which seriously compromises the overall efficiency of the service.
The opposite problem also exists, sudden demand can result in not enough seats, forcing people to stand, or wait for the next vehicle.
These fundamental problems can only be overcome with the use of smaller vehicles operating more frequently. However, smaller vehicles operating more frequently mean more drivers who need paying, greatly impacting on costs (consider the cost of taxis).
A to B
People invariably want to go from where they are now, to where they want to go, without having to change or wait en route.
Public transport cannot possibly cater for such a myriad of journeys, thus public transport routes are always a compromise, and usually involve additional journeys by other means in order to get to the nearest public transport stop.
Let us consider two points A and B. If A and B are in the centre of large cities, then a regular public transport service can be provided and can run efficiently.
The smaller A and B become, and the further apart they are, the more difficult it is to run a viable public transport service. Passengers may need to go well out of their way to make a connection, they may need to change multiple times, and have to wait between changes. Services may run very infrequently — in remote rural areas perhaps not even every day. These problems can lead to inefficient and thus costly routes, and/or extended journey times, so much so that it is often simply not practical to make the journey by public transport.
Very few people are fortunate enough to be able to make use of a public transport service that runs from exactly where they are to exactly where they want to go, without any additional journeys at either end, and changes en route.
This is where private transport is clearly the better option, and you don't have to pay a driver.
ABD Press Releases about Public Transport
“A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus, can count himself as a failure.”