Negative Impacts of Public Transportation

Public transportation is a form of transportation whereby people are taken from one point to another as a group. This movement is made by buses, trains, water, or air. Buses and trains are the most commonly used form of public transportation. There are numerous environmental impacts that public transportation has on the environment most of which are harmful. In this work, I will be discussing the effects of public transport on the environment and how to make public transport sustainable.

Negative impacts of public transportation

Most public transportation system uses diesel engines.

These engines have high durability, reliability, and low operating cost which make them a preference for heavy-duty machines. Diesel engines play a significant role in the widespread environmental pollution problems. The primary pollutant emissions from diesel engines are carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides CITATION Res15 l 1033 (Resitoglu, Altinisik, & Keskin, 2015). Nitrogen oxides contribute to the release of smog and acid rain, which are hazardous to the environment and human health.

Nitrogen dioxide gets released during the combustion of fossil fuels by vehicles. These emissions are highest in urban areas. The nitrogen oxides are likely to reduce visibility in urban areas where the emissions are high. The United States transport sector results in over 55% of the total nitrogen oxide emission in the country, most of which are from diesel engines.

The carbon dioxide emission is usually over 35000 million metric tonnes emission per year. In India, diesel engine pollution is estimated to have increased by over eight times over the last twenty years.

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Thus, contributing to an estimated about 70% of the total air pollution. Diesel engines are the world’s major source of the emission of carbon black. Carbon monoxide has a significant effect on the global warming effect. Global warming increases heating on the earth’s surface, and it has been of major impact on climate change. More frequent natural disasters such as droughts, floods, and heatwaves have resulted in the death of all over the globe.

Measures to sustain public transportation

Various measures are being put to place to make public transport sustainable. Green transport is the key solution to end the negative environmental impacts of engine fumes to the environment. Green transportation will have an essential role in easing traffic congestion while solving environmental pollution problems in major international cities, which adopt green traveling in public transport. Some cities have adopted green transportation, and this has had a positive impact on them.

Copenhagen began green transportation during the 1960s. It has kept the tradition of the use of bicycles for over 40% of residents going to work by bike. Having 36% of its citizens relying on bicycle for commuting has resulted in carbon dioxide emission reduction by over 90,000 tons per year. Copenhagen had a goal to reach 50% of citizens relying on a bike for commuting by 2015, which it achieved.

Tokyo is the core area of Metropolitan in Japan, covering an area of 2187km2 and having a population of around 13 million citizens. Tokyo is a rail-dominated city. The green transport share ratio within Tokyo was 30% for railways, 14% for cyclists, and 22% for walking in 2008. The primary means of transportation was here is rail transport. In Tokyo, there are strict car ownership policies that limit car purchase and ownership. Bicycles in Tokyo have provided a perfect riding environment by designing special cycling lanes for people who move to work by bike. The adoption of the electric vehicle helps embrace green transportation. Several countries such as the United States, Japan, and China, have plans to introduce electric cars to its system. The government is funding research on batteries and electric vehicles. Major cities such as London and Paris have already had electric car systems and electric cable system to ensure zero carbon emission.

Automotive companies have been in the front line, ensuring that they are making efforts to reduce carbon emission. Ford motor company are making significant efforts to ensure that their vehicles follow the environmental policies laid by the government to control carbon emission.

Problems to implementation of green transportation

There are various problems related to the implementation of green transportation. Due to the increased demand for advanced supply chain management services over the last ten years due to globalization, and different market conditions, the role of logistics service providers has been changing. Furthermore, logistic service providers have shown the potential to become a value-addition operation in supply chains. When logistic supply chain operations transform their operations and strategies, the green perspective will become more productive. The lack of understanding of the green perspective to managers creates a barrier to the efficiency of the introduction of green initiatives. Logistics service providers face the challenge of implementing green operation per their own business (Karin Isaksson, 2019).

The awareness of green transportation has not yet been well-formed. For example, the car use intensity in cities like Beijing is way too high, with an annual mileage of private vehicles of 9320 miles, which is over two times to that of Tokyo. The main reasons that have resulted in Beijing lagging in green transportation are the fact that special lanes such as those of bicycles have not been connected to the network. If these lanes are established, they could be efficient for people who travel a distance less than 5 km as they make 40% of the total travelers on the roads CITATION Kar19 l 1033 (Karin Isaksson, 2019). The bicycle lanes in the city get often occupied by motorcycles; this makes it inefficient to use bicycles in such a path due to your safety.

Upgrading to green implementation is a costly project which will require a lot of capital and government assistance to make it a reality. The fact that the government has not always taken green transportation as a priority similarly not enough funding by the government. Therefore just a few policies have been passed relating to green transportation. If various governments made it a priority there is a high possibility of increased use of green transportation.

Green transportation will be the long-term solution to counter the environmental and human impacts that have been experienced due to the pollution of the atmosphere in the past. It will be important to ensure that the future generation has a better world.


  1. Aud, T. (2014). Transport Effects and Environmental Consequences of Central Workplace Location. Transportation Research Procedia, Volume 4, Pages 14-24.
  3. Li, H. (2016). Transportation System of International Metropolises. Science Direct, Volume 137, Pages 762-771.
  4. Resitoglu, I., Altinisik, K., & Keskin, A. (2015). Clean Techn Environ Policy. Springer Link, Volume 17, Issue 1, page 15-27.

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Negative Impacts of Public Transportation. (2019, Dec 18). Retrieved from

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