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Talk:Public transport


Why is this restrict to ground transportation?

Should ferries be public transport too?

How about conveyer belt type people mover?

Indeed, why? Probably because the original author relied on people adding more unusal forms later on :-) I'll get right on it. Conveyer belt would be fine, but i have never seen an actual transportations system built of them. Though that is not saying that it's non-exsistant.. --Anders Törlind

in Hong Kong, tens of thousands of commuters travel each work day between the Central District (a financial district) and the Mid Level (a residential district hundreds of feet up the hill side) using a long distance conveyer belt + esculator combination. The conveyer belt only goes one way and reverses depending on rush hour traffic direction. Since the sole purpose of the system is to ease road traffic by providing commuters with a different means of travel, it could be classified as a public transport system. Add to the article if you see fit. This thing DOES exist!
Wow! I've gotta haul my behind there to see that thing! Of course it goes on the listing! --Anders Törlind See more pictures at The whole system is 800 meters long, the vertical climb is 135 meters. Total travel time is 20 minutes, but most people walk while the system moves to shorten the travel time. Due to its vertical climb, the same distance is equivalent to several miles of zigzaging roads if travelled by car. It consists of 20 esculators and 3 conveyer belts. Daily traffic exceeds 35000 people. It was put in service since 1993. It cost HK$ 240,000,000 (around $US 30,000,000) to build.
Cool! Theese would be nice on the conveyor belt page :-) --Anders Törlind

Would the experts like to add this information on the conveyor belt page? -olivier 17:49 Oct 26, 2002 (UTC)

Long distanceEdit

Do long-distance (scheduled) trains, buses, and planes count as public transport? Robert Merkel

No quite sure actually...I've always had the impression that public transport is something subsidized by the local government in order to provide taxpayers with cheap (and at least for the city) convenient transport. That would exclude a lot of the long-distance routes, but there are many instances where public transport could extend quite a ways from a city, and infact be a countrywide network of routes with short distances between every stop (as evidenced by the "länstrafik" in Sweden by the way). --Anders Törlind

So far as I know, there is no limit on long-distance a route can be and still be considered public transport. (What else would you call it?)

The only real exception I can think of is that planes rarely seem to be considered public transport - perhaps because they are used even by people who go everywhere else by car? --AdamW

Do long-distance (scheduled) trains, buses, and planes count as public transport?

Of course. Public transport is any form of passenger transport on/in which members of the public can ride (normally against payment - though there are instances of free public transport). Thus my car is not public transport (not just anyone can ride in it); a taxi, though, IS (it's available to any member of the public). A private jet is not public transport (that's why it's called a private jet); a privately owned British Airways jet IS public transport, however, when it flies on a scheduled route to which anyone who can pay the fare has access. -- Picapica 11:18, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

As a 35 year veteran of bus transportation of many types in the U.S., I think I can shed some light here. The terminology public transit or public transportation has been increasingly used to define the government-supported services which receive funding from the U.S. federal government, initially under Urban Mass Transit Administration (UMTA) and later under its successor, Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Because the recipient organizations operating with this assistance essentially receive free or almost free capital equipment, (IE 80-100% federal and state funds), they must operate under different rules than the non-subsidized "private" sector, which includes public stock companies such as Greyhound (Laidlaw), Coach U.S.A., and many,.many smaller organziations. The "private" sector providers seem to prefer words other than public transportation to define their services, IE charter service, tours, motorcoach, etc, even though some or most of their services are also available to the public, either as individual passengers, or as groups.
The American Public Transit Association (APTA) primarily represents the first group (dependent upon capitol grant funding) and American Bus Association (ABA) and United Motorcoach Association (UMA) represent the second group.
Vaoverland 07:23, Dec 29, 2004 (UTC)
I'd say it's fairly simple. Literally, public transport is any form of transport that is open to the public, pretty much the way Picapica said it. But in practise it has to come to mean transport for the poor, which means forms other than publicly funded have started using different names, as Vaoverland stipulates. But this not only applies to some private bus companies in the US but also to airplanes and taxis. But I once read that the term applies only to mass transportation, which might exclude taxis, except for shared taxis. DirkvdM 10:15, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

>>in practise it has to come to mean transport for the poor<< the US, I take it you mean. I'd hardly call the vast majority of the 300 million+ annual travellers on the Swiss Federal Railways (not to mention the trams, buses, boats, etc.) "poor"... Indeed, you have to be fairly well-off these days to be able to afford to use much of the public transport system in Great Britain! -- Picapica 16:36, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the direction of this argument, and that we should include long distance inter-city services as public transport, and by extension I think we have to include long-haul flight destinations, or where else do we draw the line? The definition of public transport that we are using seems to be 'vehicles that are either shared simultaneously or in sequence for personal travel and which are available for use by general members of the public as long as they hold an appropriate ticket/pass/license'.

What transport modes are 'Cool'?Edit

There has been a discussion in 'Long Distance' about what transport modes are 'cool' in what parts of the world. I am pulling this discussion out into a new section with the sugestion that it needs its own sub-section in 'Social and Cultural'.

  • >>in practise it has to come to mean transport for the poor<< the US, I take it you mean. I'd hardly call the vast majority of the 300 million+ annual travellers on the Swiss Federal Railways (not to mention the trams, buses, boats, etc.) "poor"... Indeed, you have to be fairly well-off these days to be able to afford to use much of the public transport system in Great Britain! -- Picapica 16:36, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with Picapica that many rail routes in the UK are a rich person's transport mode, for example a 'standard open return' from London to Liverpool currently costing £205 working out at 50p per mile! In the UK it is the Coach that is regarded as the 'distress purchase', however in Spain the Coach is a "cool and acceptable" (, so it is all very cultural and local, and that is something it might be useful to draw out within the article. The bike is also 'cool' in the UK ( (PeterIto 09:48, 30 October 2007 (UTC))
No one with any sense would buy a Standard Open Return: there are many much cheaper options available if you book even a day in advance, and/or are prepared to accept a few minor restrictions on routes and travel times. I regularly travel from Glasgow to London and back for under £50: I've managed it for £23 before. It's strange how people tend to compare the price of turning up at the train station on the day with booking plane tickets months in advance, and even then fail to take into account the hidden taxes and surcharges added to air tickets, as well as the costs of transfers to/from airports to city centres. (talk) 20:55, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Oldest public transportEdit

This appears under "History"

Since 1876, the Sundbåt ("Harbor Boat") of Norwegian coastal city Kristiansund N has been carrying passengers between the four islands that the city is built on. Still running, the Sundbåt is the world's oldest regular public transport service in continuous operation.

What is the basis of that assertion? I can think of four older services without straining too hard:

  1. Metropolitan Line of London Transport (1863)
  2. Long Island Rail Road Brooklyn to Jamaica (1867)
  3. District line of London Transport (1864)
  4. New York Battery to Staten Island Ferry (probably continuous from about 1817, when steamboats began in use, but certainly from about 1860, when the Staten Island Railroad opened)
  1. Bemus Point Ferry, 1811Eregli bob (talk) 07:16, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Is there some definition of "regular public transport service in continuous operation" that I'm missing? -- Cecropia | explains it all ® 04:49, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I just noticed that and removed it, and was going to ask about it here. --SPUI (talk) 5 July 2005 08:10 (UTC)

--agr 21:55, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Move intermodalEdit

I'd like to move the intermodal discussion to its own page Intermodal passenger transport, with more catigorization and examples. Any objections? Also anyone know what intermodal facility the South Bend, Indiana link refers to ?--agr 21:55, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Intermodal facilitiesEdit

I removed Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport as an example and replaced it with Baltimore-Washington International Airport. DCA is not convenient to any interstate highways and is not served by heavy rail. Newark International Airport might be an even better example as it has more extensive bus service. -choster 19:11, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Introductory paragraphEdit

In the introduction I am unhappy with the slant that poor countries (make that poor people) need public transport because they cannot afford cars. Even with cars for everyone one does need public transport. The car uses space rather inefficiently compared to its transport capacity, causing congestion problems once settlements become denser than the average suburban sprawl. At least in Europe one starts to commiserate the poor souls (even those with money) that have to travel by car and cannot whiz into town on a shiny tram. -- Klaus with K 18:00, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Funny, in America it's the other way around. Often the poor people riding light rail can only look out grimly in desperation as their aging, frequently vandalized trams rumble along at 45 mph (with frequent scheduled stops and poor temperature control), while middle class and upper class people race by at 65 mph (or even faster) in their spacious air-conditioned vehicles with high-quality sound systems and leather seats. Of course, most of our infrastructure is more car-friendly. --Coolcaesar 03:55, 30 September 2005 (UTC)
I suppose Klaus meant that potentially public transportation is much more efficient than an overload of private cars (causing traffic jams). If there were only public transportation, the way it's done in the third world, with mini-buses, then there would only be about a third of the amount of cars in the streets (on average 5 people per car in stead of 1 1/2), thus eliminating the traffic jams. And that's to start with. Because of this trips are twice as fast, halving the amount of cars again (etc ?). And the lack of parked cars would mean more space and possibly more efficiency (read: speed).
This is a problem I run into again and again when I say public transportation should be improved. The counterargument is then that's it's so horrible. But that's my argument! If only it were done properly then people would see how efficient it can be. And not something for poor people, but better for everyone. This can be seen at work in poor countries. But of course rich countries could do that much better, if only people wouldn't be addicted to their own car and the notion that it's more efficient.
By the way, the speeds you mention aren't too impressive. Private cars would then be only 40% faster than trams. And that's when they're driving. I don't know your situation, but often private cars make more stops (traffic lights) and are therefore slower on average. If there is public transportation in the first place. I've been to the US and it's a whole lot worse than in Europe, which in turn is a whole lot worse than 3rd world countries (with the Dutch trains being one exception). DirkvdM 10:26, 30 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, as for the issue of parked cars, that does contribute to congestion in urban areas. That's why most California suburbs have broad boulevards with bike lanes but no curb parking, so that vehicles can fly along at high speed without having to slow for vehicles attempting parallel parking.
As for the "more stops" argument, that may be true for cars in high-density areas, but not in areas where streets are constructed so that they feed into an arterial road network where traffic lights are reserved only for intersections between major arterial roads and for where arterial roads meet streets that feed into local neighborhoods. In such areas, when traffic lights are properly synchronized and kept about a mile apart, cars can move for several miles through several consecutive intersections without stopping. If there is a freeway or expressway, the speed advantage is even more obvious. In contrast, a light rail trolley along the same route may have to make three or four scheduled stops within the same distance.
Furthermore, it is rare that a single light rail line happens to be a perfect match between any given person's home and workplace (that is, within a reasonable half-mile walk of the station), necessitating one or more time-consuming transfers. In contrast, a driver can simply turn at an intersection or race through the ramps at an interchange. --Coolcaesar 05:08, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
A problem I was faced with in my last edit was keeping it general. You live in a specific situation. And so do I. Here in Amsterdam the canals are lined with trees, so having no cars parked between them would create no extra lanes (often not even for pedestrians, really). But on non-canal streets it would. And I suppose that is the most common situation. Most countries don't have the space the US have and city streets are fixed by history - broad boulevards are the exception. And all the rest of the central planning that makes modern cities (ie cities without a substantial pre-20th century history) so well suited to cars is not the norm. Having highways is a city is not 'normal'. And synchronised traffic lights are rare in my experience (and I've traveled around the world).
Also, you compare private cars with metrorail (or trams or whatever), which is not fair. These are indeed troubled by the few stations (although in Amsterdam it is not normal that you can park your car right in front of the destination - there just isn't enough room for enough parking spaces in most old cities). What would be fair would be a comparison between an all-out private car system (something which most places come pretty close to) and an all-out public transport system, without any private cars getting in the way (which no place I know of comes even close to). In that comparison public transport would win hands down. Just look at the minibus-system in third world countries. Because of the lack of private cars and their flexibility they're very efficient (especially if you have the money to make a bus leave straight away and drop you off at the destination - no parking problem either). And what they can do we rich westerners can surely do better, right? If only there would be the political will, which in a democracy is determined by the will of the people, who, for lack of knowledge of the potential efficiency of public transport, will not vote for it. Compare the Singapore bus system - one of the most efficient ones I've ever experienced (though I would certainly not want to live there, but that's a different matter - despite the disadvantages of democracy I wouldn't want to do without it). DirkvdM 09:25, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
I think we both understand each other's positions at this point, and there's probably no middle ground---we are coming at the subject of transportation with fundamentally different assumptions about human psychology (that is, what people want). I'm not sure we need to take this discussion any further.
Anyway, to get an idea of the kind of transportation development pattern I am referring to, you might want to look at a photo I took for the Traffic light article, at [1]. --Coolcaesar 00:29, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
In Leipzig, Germany, we have a very well-maintained public transport network. The main "cart horses" are trams from ~12m up to ~45m of length, busses are used as an addition to the outskirts and suburbs that have no rail infrastructure (yet). As we do have lots of American exchange students, guest lecturers and visitors for various other reasons, I got the chance to ask for consistent feedbak: Every American I talked to about Leipzig's public transport loved it and was puzzled in wonder, why not every larger American town or city has such a network right now. I think, perceptions, impressions and wishes are largely determined by context and Americans grow up in a context, that systematically devaluates public transport systems. I wonder, how we could enhance the introduction to EVEN MORE hint at the influence of consumer culture on transportation. Economic power relations largely determine, what infrastructures are put in place and infrastructures largely determine the appearance of the world people perceive. As a further step, there might be a section about the world's cultural diversity when it comes to public transport - this definitely deserves some more attention. --Klingon83 (talk) 12:56, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Transit Planning or Public Transport PlanningEdit

I think this new section needs to be cleaned up and made a separate article. --agr 00:47, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

From the article:
Other topics Wiki contributors are invited to comment on include:
  • Demand Forecasting
  • Fleet Forecasting
  • Time Transfer Systems
  • Nodes
  • Transportation Modelling
  • Pedestrian Oriented Development
  • History of Transit Planing including influential planners from history (note Blaise Pascal] is often credited with planning the first bus route, in Paris)
  • Bus Stations and Exchanges
  • Intermodal Terminals
  • Urban Form
  • Bus Rapid Transit [2]
  • Service Levels
  • Demand Service
  • Policy Service Levels
  • Training
  • Relationship with Transit Scheduling
  • Density
  • Reliability
  • Transit Priority
  • This whole area of transport modeling, planning and operations is still completely missing from the article. I would suggest it is worthy of a short paragraph in the many article, and the its own separate article. I am sure suppliers of the equipment could be encouraged to contribute content. The subject of publicity (timetables, journey planning etc) is also still missing. Possibly again this needs a short paragraph and a separate article and examples of publicity taken from around the world in this fast changing area. (PeterIto 09:55, 30 October 2007 (UTC))

principle of economy of scaleEdit

This should at least be mentioned. That is one of the major reasons why public transport is adopted, after all. In the context of pollution, there is a reduced amount of pollution per passenger as the amount of passengers increases, reduced amount of fuel, - which basically is just an economy of scale in a different context. Should this not be mentioned? -- Elle vécut heureusement toujours dorénavant (Be eudaimonic!) 09:21, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Fine by me, but I would not reduce it to fuel consumption, space considerations IMHO are even more important, in particular in city centres. --Klaus with K 22:04, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
More specifically fewer driving and parked cars, which creates more room, which facilitates faster throughput, which makes fewer vehicles necessary, etc. Not ad infinitum, of course, it will stabilise at some point, but the more public transport is used, the stronger this effect is. I've been thinking about this a few years ago and concluded that if all transportation of people in a city were to be done with public transportation that would reduce the traffic by about 90%. Not just because of this, but also because traffic flow can be centrally coordinated and traffic lights are no longer needed. Which will have a big effect.
Ultimately, traffic jams are a cumulative effect. Once you start countering that, the effect of that will also be cumulative. Which is the reason for the enormous effect. I once used statistics of commuters in Amsterdam to calculate that only a few thousand mini-vans are needed to transport all those people within one or two hours (can't remember precisely now). And that's the busiest tome of the day, meaning only a fraction would be needed for the rest of the day (the rest can then be parked outside the city). Amsterdam is about 200 km2 big, so 2000 vans would mean 10 vans per km2. Is that light traffic or what? Of course, that presents a problem; there has to be a van available (for the direction you're going in) within a reasonable amount of time. So probably more vans are needed, but even then.... And since it's centrally coordinated, we can use the information age technology. People can call in where and when they need transport to where and a computer system can then figure out the best routes (but this could in principle also be done with private cars).
But this constitutes original research, so I didn't dare add it to this extent until I found another source, which I haven't yet (because I haven't been searching yet, basically). DirkvdM 07:06, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

False etymology?Edit

I'm removing "The former usage stems from tradition, while the latter is intended to avoid confusion because a "transport" is generally a vehicle in the modern vernacular." This derivation does not seem likely to me. The word "transport" is primarily a verb in the U.S. The article on American English cites transport/transportation as an example of British-American differences with a differing explaination, and suggests transportation may well be the older usage. --agr 03:31, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Is it just me or this article needs sources?Edit

Funny how there is a lot of information here but no sources (other than the citation to the Nicole Achs article which I added more than a year ago). I guess most public transit fans are stuck on the bus or train too often to get over to the public library and look up some more sources! (I'm more of a freeway person, by the way.) --Coolcaesar 01:23, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Wow. Over a year has gone by and three of the four sources cited in this article are ones that I looked up. I guess my hypothesis about public transit fans being stuck on the bus or train may be right. (Hint hint -- I'm trying to challenge you guys to add some sources here!) --Coolcaesar 08:49, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the sources (other than those already cited) simply don't exist. The advantages and desirability of mass-transit may yet turn out to be overrated. (talk) 21:53, 7 January 2008 (UTC)


When I think of "public" transport I think of government funded. Pellaken 15:53, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

That is the case in many countries, but it is not always the case. In Britain, almost all public transport operators (including both bus lines and railways) are privately-owned companies, and some operate without government subsidy, or even pay the government a dividend. David Arthur 17:11, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
That's funny. In the United States, we used to have many privately-owned public transportation firms but nearly all of them went out of business in the 1950s and 1960s. Subsidized government agencies took over most of their operations. There still are a few private companies in the business, but they are rare. For example, some of the bus lines in Los Angeles are operated by small private companies under the supervision of government agencies. And the Las Vegas Monorail is organized as a nonprofit charity that is independent of the Nevada government. --Coolcaesar 20:35, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Free SystemsEdit

I started on this the other day with the idea of completing the list of services shown here, asking my colleagues from the new mobility group to have a look and do the same. We have started to do this, but then began to discuss that there are two very different kinds of services in this group. If you click over there today, you will see how I have tried to add clarification. I will be asking my colleagues to come in and have a look and perhaps a whack at both the text and the list. Once we have this a bit clearer, we will end u with two lists: the first of which will identify a couple of handfuls of these semi-commercial free services, and the latter and more importantly the real stuff. ericbritton 10:45, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

See new main article zero-fare public transport. I suggest the content here be summarised and the long lists deleted, and I will do so in a couple of weeks if nobody objects.Nankai 02:54, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Public Transport Maps and about the articleEdit

I actually have a whole collection of Public Transport maps of the cities, towns and counties of United States (Mostly) the UK and Canada. the Most Transit maps I have is New York, USA, Merseyside, UK, Los Angeles,USA, and Toronto, Canada

the article is good.

Keenrich 21:40, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Economic ImpactEdit

Few localities have the ability to assign development rights to a private transit operator, as communist Hong Kong has done, though their success illustrates the potential of this idea.

I don't mean to nitpick, but since when is Hong Kong's economy communist? 16:01, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Change MachinesEdit

Change machines in bus systems? Small and large suburban bus stations should have change machines. Fascists in america always stop me from getting change when I'm stuck somewhere. They will stop and say I must buy to get change, I not understadn. Why you hate india so much. Did we hurt you little \ baby? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:07, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

This article still needs sourcesEdit

It's been nine months since my critique (see above) and this article still needs sources. Three of the four references at the bottom of the page were provided by me. I guess that proves my point that public transport people waste too much time stuck in line, or on the bus or train. Anyway, I'm still busy digging up sources for Lawyer and Expressway. --Coolcaesar 20:46, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I have re-structured this articleEdit

I have taken a look at the overall structure of the article. I have not removed anything, but it may well be in a new place!

I have tried to combine related issues more logically (ticketing/funding/economic) (cultural and social issues).

I have promoted the general description of what public transport is to the top, followed by a summary of the situation by continent, followed by the financial issues.

I have pushed the 'emerging trends' to the end (I wasn't too sure about that, but thought it best to put 'the future' at the end rather than having it lost in the middle of the article).

One remaining problem is that the article is possibly getting over-long and many issues, for example the whole discussion of how public transport is managed is missing. Could the details of ticketing be bumped to a separate article? Anything else? —Preceding unsigned comment added by PeterIto (talkcontribs) 17:38, 28 October 2007 (UTC)


ArthurRamos and I were going back and forth on the:


charts he had made that you see in this article. They're of course, interesting, notable, and sourced, but I strenuously object to the log scaling on the x-axis because of how it misrepresents the stats. LA looks like it has half the percentage ridership of NYC, and Dallas like it has one quarter. If I were to read Boston's transit percentage, it would look like 50%, even though it's under 30%. You've got 1.77 orders of magnitude (not 5), not to mention the quantity being log-ed is a percentage, which people don't expect on a log scale. Log scales are also impossible to read without very visible tick marks, whereas distances on linear scales are implicitly shown by the space on the page (since the spacing is uniform). I understand the clustering that takes place at the lower end of things, which is why I instead suggest:

something like this

The closely clustered low-transit cities can be seen separately in the inset, while never losing sight of the profound difference all these cities' stats have with those of NYC.--Loodog (talk) 00:27, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

While I agree with Loodog's contention that the use of the log scale is somewhat unorthodox in this chart, I do not agree that it is misleading. It is clearly labeled as a log scale and per Loodog's suggestion, I added tick marks to the axis. The use of the inset in this chart makes the lower-public-transit city labels illegible and makes comparison of their statistics to the higher-public-transit cities difficult as the x-axes are on a different scales and the y-axes are not aligned. The simplicity of the single scale in this case, while unorthodox is elegant and simple, such that it is warranted.
-- Arturoramos (talk) 00:47, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Both of those concerns can be remedied with a less haphazard creation of my inset chart. The y-axes can be easily aligned, whereas the inset cities have already been compared to the others in the larger plot. The approximate location is easy to see from where the cluster is and where the city is within that cluster. The change in axes is useful, discrete, and far more appropriate because it's clearly delineated, whereas a log plot changes scales continuously, making comparisons of all statistics difficult.--Loodog (talk) 01:07, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
OK Loodog, you have convinced me and I have tried to adopt your inset methodology while also trying to keep the chart in a standard dimension format and the labels legible. Let me know what you think. I have made both charts conform to the same style and inset methodology.
--Arturoramos (talk) 14:57, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Very nice, but one thing: you used a very light grey to indicate what region is being magnified. It's pretty hard to see that, especially with the image at less than full size.--Loodog (talk) 15:07, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Canadian Statistics ClaimsEdit

Under the Car Use section for Canada, the claim is made that Canadian cities have higher transit use than their American counterparts and the comparison is made between Toronto and Philadelphia to prove this point. First of all, there is no reference given for the Toronto transit number, which may or may not be comparable to the APTA number for Philadelphia. Secondly, New Jersey transit carries a large number of Philadelphia metro area commuters, since half od the Philadelphia metro area is in New Jersey, yet the figure cited for Philadelphia excludes such ridership. Finally, Philadephia seems to have been selected by bias, since Washington DC is also a 5 million metro area with much higher ridership than Philadelphia. Once again, the respective Virginia and Maryland transit authorities would need to be included in the comparison, which would likely put the figure above 500 millon per annum. -- Arturoramos (talk) 03:06, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Don't hold me too much to that edit; I copy-pasted from Light rail in North America. I believe this was the original work of RockyMtnGuy, a proud Canadian very knowledgeable in public transit.--Loodog (talk) 03:28, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Arsenikk improperly sanitized valid, sourced criticism of public transitEdit

There were several assertions supported by citations to verifiable, reliable sources which Arsenikk deleted and which reflect widely held views in the United States of the flaws of public transit. Namely, the frequent presence of smelly, filthy, unkempt, mentally ill, drug addicted and occasionally violent homeless people who like to sleep on public transit, relieve themselves both in the stations and on the vehicles (I have personally witnessed both of these many times), attack innocent riders for no apparent reason, and sometimes wander into neighborhoods surrounding transit facilities and attack homeowners and passerby. Public transit would be much more popular if only reasonably clean and sane people were allowed to use such systems (this may be why the monorail systems implemented at amusement parks for their paying guests are so popular). This is why public transit is such a political hot potato in the United States and why so many people just prior to the current recession were fleeing into new suburbs beyond the reach of existing public transit systems. The point is that public transit has been severely, terribly impacted by the failures of American mental health policy (and education, healthcare, and criminal justice policy as well). I'm going to put back those assertions soon. --Coolcaesar (talk) 19:10, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Okay, it's been 9 months and no one responded. I'm dealing with this NOW. --Coolcaesar (talk) 07:05, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Urban transportEdit

I was looking for the urban transport article and I got this one. Do you really think that urban transport and public transport are the same thing. There are several ways to travel inside a city different from using mass or public transport such as car, walk or bike. (ECF-chl (talk) 08:57, 13 March 2009 (UTC))
Well, the relationships of traffic control and traffic policing usually have positive trends. Do you agree? -- (talk) 03:46, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Some mention must be done to the Driverless car concept. MX -- AGS -- --Dagofloreswi (talk) 06:40, 1 November 2010 (UTC)


I have just now restructured the article by moving the impact section to the very top of the article. Readers should be allowed to view the most important part of the article first and foremost before the obvious descriptions that follows.Gw2005 (talk) 23:54, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Image at top of the pageEdit

Hey guys. Just wondering why there's a picture of a Melbournian tram on the top area of this article. Melbourne's trams are known to be amongst the worst operated forms of transport in the world: Expensive, Filthy, Cramped, Infrequent, subject to violent - often brutally fatal altercations with tram inspectors in the name of "catching fare evaders". The complete failure and breakdown of the melbourne tram system leads many to question whether or not it can be classified as a transport system. Until Melbourne's tram system can be placed in a category more befitting to it's nature (somewhere between crawling on knees and rolling down a hill), I recommend that the image of a tram be removed from this article. (talk) 01:46, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

A tram is a tram, it's still public transport weather the service is good or not is a completely different story. This article is about public transport not how good/bad the service is. Hintswen  Talk | Contribs  03:15, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I have adjusted the images to give a selection of public transport images from around the world of different forms. The Mount Fuji/High Speed rail image is good a strong lead image with other modes from around the world as part of the lead as well. Sections now also have better images associated with them I think. PeterEastern (talk) 15:18, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Whatever happened to these images? First image seen is of a DAM?! (thanks to "Public Infrastructure") I threw in an iconic London red bus to fill the gap for now, but retrieving the "selection of public transport images" would be infinitely better...Mrgs123 (talk) 03:35, 30 November 2011 (UTC)


Private airplanes are not discussed (only the large, expensive ones). Private planes are like a bus and are used eg in forested areas as Suriname. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:12, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Found it; its at Bush airplane

Added text: Bush airlines work more similar to bus stops; an aircraft waits for passengers and takes off when the aircraft is full.


This idea/image may be added (perhaps some extra research however is still required).

Two links removedEdit

From the introductory text, specifically the paragraph that states that public transportation is more frequently used in the old world. First of all, the United States is just a PART of the new world, so I don't see why the great American streetcar scandal should account for the fact that public transportation is not a big thing in the new world. Corporatism may not cover the whole story on the economic front either. I say, if you guys want to bring those two topics up, especially when one of them involves conspiracy theories, do so in the appropriate place, where the reasons why public transportation in the United States isn't very developed are being discussed. If not, we're being misleading and information is being distorted.--AndresTM (talk) 02:14, 9 November 2009 (UTC)


While there is a lot of work that needs to be done with this article, please do not create an "overview" section, particularly not by moving content from the lead. Unfortunately, there are many articles on Wikipedia which have this structure, but this does not mean it is good practice. The lead is to provide an introduction and summary of the whole article (keyed primarily at those who do not want to read a lot), while the remaining content is to be sorted thematically by whatever means is most appropriate for the topic, using summary style to guide readers on to more detailed articles. More about this at WP:LEAD and WP:SUMMARY. At the moment, pretty much everything in the "overview" should be moved back to the lead. Arsenikk (talk) 12:30, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable to me. I was a little unhappy myself with how short the lead was getting (as per my comment) and I do agree that it is probably better as it is. If I do more work on the article I will probable work on the 'impact' section. Not sure what it should be called, but Impact seems wrong to me. Any thoughts? The 'Going Green' and 'Area' sections are also a little non-obvious and probably need a bit of the think about what the aim is. PeterEastern (talk) 15:12, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Accuracy, impartiality of conservative think-tank research on transit?Edit

I notice that most of the research out there opposed to public transportation seems to emit from some (fiscal, rather than social) conservative think-tank or other: the Cato Institute, the Reason Foundation, the Washington Policy Center, Wendell Cox, etc. (although at least two conservatives, Weyrich and Lind[1], favored transit), while a lot of the research favoring public transportation comes from government sources, at least one transportation-oriented think-tank (the Victoria Transport Policy Institute), while several academics (such as Pucher and Lefevre[2], as well as Cervero[3] ) support transit and assert it benefits the public more than it costs. Are the conservative think-tanks accurate at all? Are they biased? Are the professors biased? Is the article on Wikipedia POV? — Rickyrab | Talk 20:08, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Mode: Dual mode transit - monorailEdit

I think a seperate article should be made within the urban transit article. Monorail systems such as RUF, SkyCab, ... should be granted their own article. (talk) 14:17, 14 April 2010 (UTC) See also: driverless car

Qualification of passenger transportation systems?Edit

Have studies been conducted on the user-friendliness, effectiveness, eco-friendliness, etc, of passenger transportation systems? Which major cities are considered to have the "best" and "worst" public transport? kabbelen (talk) 09:40, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Online electric vehicleEdit

Added this line: Online_Electric_Vehicles are buses that run on a conventional battery, but are recharged frequently at certain points via underground wires.[4]

OEV's still need their own article, ... dough, schedule based and non-schedule based vehicles should be differentiated (ie via adding the categories, ...) KVDP (talk) 09:19, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Environmental Impact?Edit

I recommend removing the second point made, claiming research shows that trains pollute more per passenger than other forms of transportation. If I understand the graphic correctly on the link provided ( the only way for this to be true would be to squeeze 100 people into a Volkswagen Passat! At the very least, I'm editing it to include a quote from Friends of the Earth from the same article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 23 May 2011 (UTC)


The section on safety appears to be online about the US. --Gerrit CUTEDH 17:18, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Tricycle images?Edit

Do the two tricycle images belong here since that mode is more like taxis which the article's lead excludes from its scope?--agr (talk) 19:09, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Transport to automaticEdit

I've removed this section. I'm sure it was added with the best of intentions, and there is possibly an interesting amount of things to say on this subject (with good cites). But it appears to have been written whose first language is not English and was out of their depth. I tried to re-write to get some grammatical sense out of it, but soon lost my way in trying to follow what it was saying.

Perhaps the IP editor who contributed it would like to try again here, on this talk page, where it can be worked on? It would also help if the cites were placed appropriately where relevant, rather than all as a bunch at the end of the section. Thanks. --Escape Orbit (Talk) 00:17, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I also tried to re-write it, but couldn't actually figure out what it was about, so I removed it. I have no doubt that it was added to the article with good intentions, but it's not at all helpful to readers to retain it given that it's so hard to follow. Nick-D (talk) 06:21, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

US-centric safety dataEdit

Private motor car vs public transport per capita

With a large connotation of danger surrounding public transportation, it would be nice to crunch the numbers of the source I added to see how they really compare at least according to the study. Just from a five minute look I deduce that counting only cars and light trucks the number is about 300 times higher than the number of deaths on subways and light rail. I did not include the bus deaths because they also include school buses and intercity buses although I'm quite certain most of the deaths are on public buses public transport that is. I'm not sure how much that would skew the numbers anyways since the majority of public transit buses in many cities across the country, but obviously would tip the scales a little bit in the favor of the private automobile. the question is are there three hundred times as many car trips per day month year as subway and light rail trips? B137 (talk) 05:49, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

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London, Paris?Edit

This article has very little regarding Transport for London (TfL) and the Paris Métro, two of the largest and oldest public transit systems in the world. Anyone have info, esp. images of these two systems they would like to contribute? Sam.hill7 (talk) 16:09, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

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Contradiction: taxis are/are not public transportEdit

This article (public transport) explicitly states that taxis are not public transport. The taxi article states that taxis are a mode of public transport. Which of these is verifiable with authoritative citations? (Not mere examples of word use). To prove your case, provide citations. Thank you.    The Transhumanist 11:43, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Contradiction: vehicles for hire are/are not public transportEdit

Taxicabs are the main type of vehicle for hire. The Category:Public transport by mode includes Category:Vehicles for hire. The article Public transport states that taxis are not public transport. Which is correct? Back your answers with authoritative citations (dictionary entries, statements from textbooks, scientific/engineering journals, etc.), please.    The Transhumanist 11:56, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Contradiction: public transport is/is not shared transportEdit

The article Public transport says it is shared transport. The article shared transport describes this mode as distinct from public transport.    The Transhumanist 16:33, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

There's public transport and private transport. What form of transport are taxis?Edit

I look forward to your answers. (Please {{ping}} me).    The Transhumanist 13:50, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

@The Transhumanist: I think you're over-stretching the need for a direct antonym here. There's "public transport"; but that does not mean that we have a meaningful category called "private transport"; that terminology is just not used. Public transport indicates that taxicabs are not considered public transport, though the article taxicab, by its use of the word "other" in the phrase "other public transport" indicates that they are sometimes so considered. --Jayron32 13:54, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
Jayron, the article private transport also excludes taxis, and refers to them as a form of public transport.
Category:Vehicles for hire, which include taxis, is in turn included in Category:Public transport by mode. So, if taxis are mode of public transport, they need to be included in the public transport article.
Somehow, the contradiction needs to be fixed.    The Transhumanist 14:05, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
The article private transport contains zero indication that it is a real concept outside of Wikipedia. It looks entirely like someone saw the article "public transport" and decided on their own that the antonymic term needed an article, and so created one without regard for whether or not it was a legitimate concept. I see no evidence that it is. --Jayron32 15:15, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
  • It depends where in the world you are. "Public transport" has two meanings: transport available to the public (which taxis are) or transport potentially shared at the time of use by several members of the public (which usually also implies a fixed route, not a route of the passenger's choice). Taxis are the first - so are private hire minicabs (a big distinction in the UK) or limo hire. Here in the UK, I can only 'hail' a car on the street if it's a taxi (which requires onerous licensing). If I book in advance though, or go to a minicab office, I can have a less regulated (although still regulated) minicab. Uber have further blurred this difference.
WP seems to have taken the other definition, which excludes taxis. This is usually a North American distinction - 'taxis' are socially acceptable to most classes of people, but it's a failure in middle class life to be reduced to 'riding the bus'.
Yet in many countries, taxis are little more than very small buses. It's common to share them with other passengers, sometimes when coincidentally going in the same direction, sometimes when travelling a regular fixed route. This is common worldwide, everywhere from Belfast to South Africa. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:07, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
@Andy Dingley: I moved the section on auto rickshaws from public transport to shared transport, but I'm not sure that's correct.    The Transhumanist 14:12, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
I'm with Andy on this one. In my understanding, public transport refers to all sorts of transport you don't own yourself, including taxicabs, rickshaws, livery vehicles, etc. If you're paying for a per-use ride of the vehicle and someone else is driving it, it is public transportation. --Jayron32 15:18, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
In (a pay site) I'm seeing references to the term "private transport" at least as far back as 1950. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:28, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

@The Transhumanist:, it's a mistake to think that all forms of transport must be either public or private. As with any other division, people and things can move between different classes. A taxi is usually privately owned, and at most times it's also privately hired, and if so it's essentially a form of private transport. But it can also be publicly owned and can be used to provide public transport: for instance, a railway company can use taxis to complete its passengers' railway journeys when something goes wrong. You could say a taxi is sui generis. Moonraker (talk) 15:26, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

Well, that's what the crux of the confusion here is, which is the meaning of the adjective public. Does it refer to being owned by the public (i.e. the state) or does it refer to being usable by the public (i.e. available for anyone to use so long as they pay the price of use). As far as I know, public transport usually refers to the latter; actual ownership of the vehicle is not what is considered (that is, non-state companies may own and manage public transport resources). But, because there is a difference in perceieved meaning, there will be a difference in classification. Once again, as always, this is why simplistic, binary definitions aren't interesting or useful. --Jayron32 17:08, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

Jayron32 That is mostly correct but doesn't take us far. As you say, the ownership doesn't make a real difference, although it might help to show a general character that isn't private. The essence of public transport is that it is available for public use by more than one member of the public at a time. Usually there is a fixed route and some kind of timetable. A taxi doesn't have a fixed route or a timetable, and usually it is hired privately by one person. It's a mistake to think that everything can be divided neatly into "public" and "private" (especially foolish with colleges and universities, for instance), but taxis don't have much in common with public transport except that someone pays to make a journey. That can also be true of hiring a car to drive from A to B, but I don't think anyone would suggest a rented car is public transport. Moonraker (talk) 17:25, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

@Moonraker and Jayron32: There are 2 word forms here: the idiom, and the literal interpretation of two concatenated words. "Public transport" the idiom means "a system of vehicles such as buses and trains that operate at regular times on fixed routes and are used by the public". But that doesn't mean a speaker of English can't put the two words together using their base definitions (that's what words are for), and so "public transport" can be used in communications to mean "modes of transportation open to the public". Now, all we need to do is find examples of both, from authoritative sources.    The Transhumanist 10:57, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

It is easy to find instances of the phrase "public transport" in reference to taxis. But I've yet to find an authoritative source saying "Taxis are a form of public transport". Finding articles or web pages that refer to taxis as public transport is original research. We need to find a source that has already done this research.    The Transhumanist 11:24, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

That's the thing, though; binary thinking is not as useful as continuum thinking, and even more important is understanding why we have the concept in the first place. To understand whether or not a taxi cab is or is not public transportation, we first need to understand what public transportation is as well as what its purpose is. If the purpose of public transportation is to provide on-demand, short-distance transportation in a metro area so that locals don't need to own automobiles, then taxis are public transportation. Even informal forms of transportation such as carpool, HOV lanes, or slugging are considered as part of a government's public transit policy. A deeper understanding of why you are asking the question is needed before one can provide a meaningful answer. --Jayron32 17:37, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Now what we need are citations, so we can put the reality of the situation in the article. Can you find any authoritative sources that say:
1) Public transport are mass transit systems owned and operated by the government for the public
2) Public transport is any form of transportation available for public use
3) Taxis are a form of public transport
After those or similar statements are placed in the article, with citations, the article's problem will be solved.    The Transhumanist 10:29, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
As I said, It is not that simple and thinking in terms of the binary is it or isn't it is not useful to understanding the issues at hand. For example, for example this source from 1992 from a scholarly study finds "Any improvement in the taxi service should therefore be viewed as an important improvement in public transport provision" while this article from 2012 says "taxi service is a critical aspect of a transit system" and that we should treat "taxis as part of a wider public transport network". This page from the Government of the Netherlands treats taxi service as part of the public transit sector. However This government inquiry from Australia concludes that they are definitively NOT public transportation. So again, there are NOT universally agreed upon definitions here (as I said before) and there is not a binary option (as I said before) and that the understanding of public transit policy requires nuance and deeper thinking that "taxis are public transit" or "taxis are not public transit". If you're only allowing your brain to think in those two options, then you're doing it wrong. Again, continuum thinking makes more sense here. --Jayron32 14:00, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether it is simple or not. What matters is, that whatever the situation is, gets documented in the article, with citations. If that means multiple views as in 1), 2), and 3) above all being covered, then so be it. They were not presented as either/or options, as they obviously coexist. The article should answer the following question as fully as is practical: "What is public transport?" The article currently doesn't reflect the answers you have given above, and is currently plastered with contradiction banners.    The Transhumanist 16:08, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Well, I've just given you several reliable sources with different perspectives. Contradictions may exist in the article because contradictions exist in the real world. --Jayron32 16:38, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
I'd rather find a synthesis, like, "it means this, and it means this". See below.    The Transhumanist 17:04, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Which one? Or something else?Edit

Here's the current lead paragraph from the article Public transport:

Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, or mass transit) is transport of passengers by shared-transport systems available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, carpooling, hired buses, ride-sharing, and transportation network companies, which are not shared by the general public without private arrangement.

Here is the lead paragraph from the same article back in June of 2002:

Public transport is the collective name for transport systems employed in densely populated areas in order to supply an alternative to automobiles. It is called public transit in the U.S.A. and Canada. Wider definitions would include scheduled airline services, ferries, taxi services etc., basically any system which is transporting members of the general public.

And from December 2002:

Public transport is the collective name for transport systems in which the passengers do not travel in their own vehicles. It is called public transit in the U.S.A. and Canada. While it is generally taken to mean rail and bus services, wider definitions would include scheduled airline services, ferries, taxi services etc., basically any system which is transporting members of the general public.

I look forward to your replies.    The Transhumanist 17:04, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Can you not google "definition of public transport"? --Jayron32 17:37, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
That was the very first thing I did before coming to you guys. The dictionary definitions support the current version of the article's lead.    The Transhumanist 17:49, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Well? --Jayron32 17:51, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
The best I can come up with is provide the reader with related modes that are public in a different sense:

Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, or mass transit) is transport of passengers by shared-transport systems available for use by the general public. Other forms of transport that provide rides to the public for a fee, but are not considered public transport in the same sense, include vehicles for hire, such as taxicabs and auto rickshaws.

That way, it doesn't contradict dictionary entries.    The Transhumanist 18:53, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
But it does contradict at least three highly reliable sources I cited above which specifically call taxicabs a form of public transportation. --Jayron32 18:54, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for the feedback. I've adjusted it to read "not generally considered".    The Transhumanist 19:10, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Except, the three sources I included say that it is. If you want to be truly accurate on this, you would do well to explicitly note that there is not an agreement one way or the other. To imply even a general consideration one way or the other is demonstratedly false. --Jayron32 19:14, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
@Jayron32: I've removed my statement on taxis from the article. We're talking about the meaning of a term, based on how it is used in language, rather than the verification of some event or other fact (like "sunsets can be red"). You're references don't verify the meaning as a common context of the term. For that, you would need to cite a lexicon or standard textbook in the field, etc. Otherwise, all you have is a neologism: the term neologism has a broader meaning that includes not only "an entirely new lexical item" but also an existing word whose meaning has been altered.[1][2][3] Sometimes, the latter process is called semantic shifting,[1] or semantic extension. According to WP:NEOLOGISM, "Neologisms that are in wide use but for which there are no treatments in secondary sources are not yet ready for use and coverage in Wikipedia. The term does not need to be in Wikipedia in order to be a "true" term, and when secondary sources become available, it will be appropriate to create an article on the topic, or use the term within other articles."    The Transhumanist 02:46, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
This conversation bores me, mostly because it is clear you aren't looking for information (i.e. to learn more about a topic yourself or expand your own understanding), but rather affirmation (evidence you can use to verify your own preconceived notions, willing to ignore all alternate perspectives if they do not confirm your current beliefs). I have no use for that sort of thing. Have a good day, this is the last you'll hear from me on the topic. You don't have to respond or ping me anymore. I'm out. --Jayron32 12:10, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
I was looking for information on whether or not taxicabs could be added to the public transport article as a form thereof. (I was hoping they could). This discussion led me to the finding of the needed information, which probably wouldn't have happened without your help. Thank you. (By the way, I agree with you that taxis are a form of public transport in the sense that they are available for hire to the public, and because they move a lot of people. It's a pity they can't be added to the article as such, but I will keep a lookout for secondary sources. If you come across any, please post them on the article's talk page).    The Transhumanist 17:13, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
This may just be throwing a spanner into the works, but this intrigued me. Looking up definitions (in the UK) threw up this. "a system of buses, trains, etc, running on fixed routes, on which the public may travel." The factor in that, which seems to be missing from the discussion so far, is "fixed routes" Wymspen (talk) 09:56, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
Spanners are welcome. Monkey wrenches too. That tidbit has been added to the lead of the article public transport. Thank you for your observation.    The Transhumanist 17:13, 31 January 2018 (UTC)


@Jayron32: A similar problem arises with the term "shared transport". In all forms of public transport, the vehicles are shared. But does the term "shared transport" include buses, trains, and planes? If so, the two articles overlap almost entirely, and the various missing modes of transport need to be presented in the article on shared transport. Idioms appear to be a form of interface hacking, by hijacking a phrase that has a different meaning when concatenated in regular speech.

Getting back to "public transport", if you just take the meaning of the concatenated words, they could refer to cars in general, as they are a form of transport available to the public for purchase. Almost anyone can buy a car, and practically everyone uses them, so they are a form of mass transit in the context that they move a lot of people, and in some countries the majority of the public own one. But the terms "public transport" and "mass transit" as presented in dictionaries do not include privately owned vehicles, even though there are hundreds of millions of them owned by members of the public. In a similar way, those definitions do not include taxicabs either.    The Transhumanist 02:59, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

  1. ^ a b Zuckermann, Ghilʻad (2003). Language contact and lexical enrichment in Israeli Hebrew (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 3. ISBN 978-1403917232. 
  2. ^ Sally Barr Ebest Writing from A to Z: the easy-to-use reference handbook 1999– p. 449 "A neologism is a newly coined word or phrase or a new usage of an existing word or phrase."
  3. ^ Lynne Bowker, Jennifer Pearson Working With Specialized Language 2002 p. 214 "Neologisms can also be formed in another way, however, by assigning a new meaning to an existing word."
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