TRANSPORT SYSTEM – THE FUTURE IS HERE!©
By JO MOON
I read a news story recently concerning Pod driverless cars which will take passengers across Heathrow Airport, UK using 70% less energy than a petrol driven car and being driven on battery power.
These may well be used for small airport rides at 25 mph but why not develop these further so that we have noise and pollution free traffic globally? Being driverless they also take the stress out of driving but this would need to be thoroughly researched so that we don’t have the situation of a car being driven over a cliff as happened with a Satnav recently!
I also believe the whole UK public transport system could be improved. Those of us who do not choose to drive a car and try to be economical and sustainable do not always find it easy travelling around by train and bus.
Trains are often far too cramped and have inadequate space for the volume of people on board. In this day and age is it really necessary to coup people up like battery chickens in small carriages?
Do people really need to stand, stuck together and clinging onto a pole for an hour to reach their destination when they have paid a good price for their ticket?
If ticket prices continue to escalate then people have the right to sit down for the whole journey. Otherwise there should be the ‘poor person’s train’ where you put up with standing up for a cheaper ticket! But I would not like to call it a ‘poor person’s train’ rather ‘The cheap option’. No one buying a full price ticket should have to stand up for any part of their journey.
I have spent many hours trying to work out routes to places using buses and trains and sometimes it has given me a headache. You have to know the system to be able to find cheaper ways of doing things and it often involves going on obscure journeys, taking obscure little country buses on long routes or knowing the right websites and deals to tap into! I have researched it extensively and pick up any information I can from subtle little tips dropped by people.
Sometimes, as I discovered this morning, it is actually impossible to get to a place by public transport. You have to walk a mile or so and follow some dark country lane to your destination and make sure you get the last bus at 6pm!
It is not always easy to get a bus in the evening. I walked in torrential rain for 45 minutes recently at 8.30pm because I didn’t want to wait half an hour for a bus. We are living in a modern world where technology is moving extremely fast and no end of products and gadgets are available.
My question is, why is the public transport system a little primitive in comparison to other parts of our technologically advanced lives?
It is sometimes difficult to get a bus in a busy town after 8pm or the last bus to somewhere small maybe around 5 or 6pm. It is often the case that I travel standing up for half a train journey or perched on top of my rucksack trying not to stare at the glaring faces right next to mine!
Yes, it is about time things changed I think!
MY SUGGESTIONS (FOR THE UK)
Have day tickets that will cover a person for any amount of buses and trains, anywhere and with any bus or train company. These tickets could also be sold in different zones e.g. according to counties, areas, cities, the whole of the UK or just England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales. The cost could vary according to which zone you choose or whether it is a ticket that covers anywhere but every ticket would include all train, bus and coach companies and run from midnight to midnight 24 hours. Concessionary tickets would also be available for each type of ticket with proof of benefits.
POSITIVE RESULTS OF THIS SYSTEM COULD INCLUDE: more tourism, more customers using all methods of public transport, those on benefits could search further afield for jobs, homes etc so not too fixed to a local area. This system would not only be available online so as to be accessible to those not computer literate. More bus seats would be filled so more buses could be run.
Refreshment trolleys on all modes of public transport (mainly train travel) should include healthy options. In fact all food served should be healthy. Currently we are offered chocolate bars, crisps, tea and coffee, alcohol and biscuits. This is mainly a dose of caffeine, sugar, fat and additives which is not really food.
People may be travelling for a variety of reasons but what is the point in eating food which is not nourishing to the body? Food served could include: organic fruit and vegetables, energy balls, spirulina and wheat grass shots, macca powder drinks, raw chocolate, smoothies, herbal tea and other healthy snacks and drinks. People may be travelling to work, hospital, to meet friends or family – whatever the reason, a healthy diet is better than a shot of unhealthy sugar and fat.
People may be in a very vulnerable state on their journey. I have known people travelling by train to hospital to have a major operation or investigation. Women may be very pregnant and feeling weak, feint or dizzy. If you have any kind of illness or disability travelling can be extremely difficult. Therefore proper food is vital.
What we may forget is that travel of any kind can be reflective of the travelling we are doing along our life’s path. When there is a delay, a discomfort, a jolt of any kind it may represent how we are feeling and where we are in life.
By taking on board the significance of the inner journey with the outer one, public transport could do a lot to assist in this process and make our journeying as comfortable as possible. Perhaps the difficulties faced in the current public transport system is reflective of where human consciousness is now. But do we really need to stand cramped up against each other trying to look in the other direction or peer into a newspaper full of negative stories about the world
Or could we see the whole process of travelling as an opportunity to reflect on where we are and how we feel about things within ourselves and to relax in the knowing that everything is just part of a process and actually everything is ok as long as we remind ourselves of this often?
If there is a long delay, a troubled thought, an anxiety, it is too easy to bury ourselves in a newspaper, text, phone or roll up a cigarette; but that will not solve the problem. We need to spend more time just listening to our inner voices and our inner wisdom instead of listening to the ipod, watching for the next text to arrive or phone to ring. This is why I believe a train SANCTUARY CARRIAGE would be ideal for this very purpose.
I leave you with these thoughts but I would very much welcome your responses and thoughts on the whole issue of public transport and also its connection to our inner and outer life journeys.
I would also like to add that some public transport systems are quite good and special offer tickets are available. It is not all bad news but I do feel that much could be improved.
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Thank-you for reading!