Differences between public and private transportation

Written by kimberly turtenwald
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Differences between public and private transportation
Public and private transportation each offer pros and cons. (public transportation image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com)

Every day, people must decide whether they'll take their personal vehicles or public transportation to get where they're going. Each of these options offers pros and cons and can work well for different situations, although you may be limited on the use of public transportation depending on where you live. It's up to you to decide which best serves your transportation needs at any given time.

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Cost

Private transportation by far is the more expensive option. The biggest cost of owning your own vehicle is the purchase price. Additionally, general maintenance such as oil changes, filling the gas tank and auto insurance are ongoing costs of owning a car. Car repairs and parking fees are also sometimes necessary. When choosing public transportation, you pay per ride and the fee is usually quite small, plus you eliminate the maintenance and operating costs associated with having a car.

Convenience

Public transportation, such as buses and trains, operates on a set schedule with specific stops, so convenience may be an issue, especially if you live in a place with infrequent or spotty service. You need to take the schedule into account when planning your travel. If you choose to take your own vehicle, you're able to come and go as you please.

Pollution and Emissions

One of the bigger causes for pollution, especially in larger cities, is emissions from vehicles. The more people who take their own vehicles, the higher the level of pollution will be, and conversely, if more people take public transportation, the total level of emissions will be reduced, therefore reducing pollution. Thus, using public transit can certainly be considered to be going "green." Owning a gas-burning car contributes to the emissions issue, but you can make a green choice if you want to own a car by purchasing a hybrid car, which uses electricity as well as gas to cut down on its energy footprint.

Comfort

Many people feel they'll be more comfortable in their private vehicle. In your car, you're be able to adjust the seat for the highest level of comfort and you can control of the temperature within your car. However, the stress of driving in traffic can make public transportation seem more comfortable. When taking public transportation, you can sit back and relax without worrying about traffic congestion, finding a parking space or dealing with other drivers.

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