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Key issues

in Sustainable Transportation

Access, not mobility

Movement in cities is not an end in itself. We move in order to gain ACCESS to people and things. But in car-oriented cities, activities tend to spread out. This forces people to travel further and further for the same level of accessibility as before.

Moving people, not cars.

We need to focus on moving people and goods rather than vehicles. In dense cities, public transport saves valuable space and energy compared to private transport, and can make a healthy profit at the same time. But cities need to nurture their public transport by giving then some priority on the road over cars. If buses are always caught in traffic thena vicious cycle begins, with bus riders abandoning public transport and adding to the traffic jams.

Reclaim city space for walking and pedalled vehicles

The healthiest and most sustainable modes of transport are walking and cycling. Even car drivers become pedestrians to complete a trip, and effective public transport depends on people being able to walk comfortably to stations and stops. But walking and cycling are vulnerable to the impacts of traffic. Many rapidly motorising Asian cities are quickly losing their walking spaces. In Bangkok, only 14% of all trips are on foot or bicycle compared to a whopping 45% in the enormous Tokyo metropolitan area!

Stop subsidising private motor vehicles

A 1990 study found that peak hour driving by car in Bangok is subsidised by society to the tune of about 15 Baht (about 60 US cents) per km. Numerous studies are finding similar results in diverse places, from Perth, Australia to Germnay to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is no wonder that too many people drive if they are not paying the full costs of their actions. This can be corrected by road charges and taxes which are reinvested in measures to help public transport, walking and cycling.

Source: Pamplet of the Sustainable Transport Action Network (SUSTRAN), May 1996.
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Sustainable Transportation