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KT edit: Mass transit must be encouraged

Every such initiative is aimed at encouraging people to shed their inhibitions and make their daily travel so much more satisfying and easy.



Published: Sun 8 Sep 2019, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 8 Sep 2019, 10:22 PM

Ten years from today, or maybe even five, public transportation will be of the essence and private ownership will dwindle in comparison. The drivers for this paradigm shift will be the cost effectiveness, the efficiency, the multiple options available for a seamless service from Point A to Point B and onwards to C and D and in reverse, as well as the convenience. As facilities improve and increase on board the transport, the comfort level will intensify exponentially. Residents of Abu Dhabi get a taste of this happy revolution as the new bus systems promises Wi-Fi connectivity for free thereby allowing travellers to make optimum use of their journey time.
All buses will now offer this facility as will bus stations, so that communication can be paramount even while waiting to catch a bus in the air-conditioned environment of the station and stop. This is a small step with the first ten such equipped buses, the Abu Dhabi main bus station and one big shelter getting things going. By the first quarter of 2020, all the 520 buses will be covered by the free internet service.
Every such initiative is aimed at encouraging people to shed their inhibitions and make their daily travel so much more satisfying and easy. There is this swiftly irrelevant belief that public transport is somehow inferior and not for the executives and other well-placed individuals. This is wrong. All over the world's urban enclaves public transportation is gaining ascendency.
Just like low-cost, no-frills airlines attract the upper echelons of society who see no sense in spending so much extra for short-haul routes, even the well-heeled will soon realise the advantages of mass transit. From Hong Kong to London, Singapore to New York, the mindset is undergoing a sea change. In many ways, each one of us is helping reduce the carbon footprint by reducing emissions. It also impacts positively on the congestion and in the final analysis saves money. With each such addition to the facility for easy transit, more people will discover that this is the best way to get to a destination. In the long run, it frees huge swathes of real estate as parking becomes obsolete.


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