Why walk when you can ride? Ever wonder why people sit for hours in traffic? Instead, how about letting the bus driver or train engineer or robot do the driving? Mass transit systems include bus and rail systems serving urban areas around the world.
Rapid transit, otherwise known as the underground, subway, tube, elevated or metro system, is alternative public transportation. In England, such a system is called an “underground” while in North America it is a “subway.” In most of the rest of the world it is called a “metro”.
The oldest rapid transit system in the world is the London Underground, which opened in 1863. Railways usually serve urban areas with a high occupancy capacity, frequent service and grade separation from other traffic. 162 cities have rapid transit systems, totaling more than 8,000 km of track and 7,000 stations. Twenty-five cities have new systems under construction. Efficient energy usage, low capital cost, low operating cost, low environmental impact, low travel time and high usability are important factors to rapid transit. Move around with mass transit!
Activity 1 – mass transit posters
Transportation posters create identity, image and function for modern communities. Transportation charts assist visitors and residents in finding their way around a city. Charts come in many sizes: some fold up and fit in your pocket! A sign grabs attention and presents all of the transportation routes of trains, buses and even bikes. Do you have mass transit in your city? If so, collect the maps that communicate the routes. Next, research mass transit charts from around the world. What do the posters have in common? How are they different? Do you think they encourage ridership? What could you do to increase public interest in taking mass transit?
Be a mass transit media collector!
Paper Pencils Colors Markers Paint Poster Paper
Activity 2 – riding mass transit
In this activity, you and friend (or your entire class) will choose a route to take on a bus, train or water taxi. Taking a digital camera; document what you see as you approach the station or stop. Are there signs? Is there a clear place to purchase tickets? Are there places to sit and wait? Can you get a newspaper or refreshments for your trip? Is it pleasant? Once on board, observe what people do. Do they sit alone? In pairs? With friends? Are they reading, listening to music, talking? What sounds do you hear? Is it a quiet ride or a ride full of screeching, buzzing and squeaking? Make a list of all of the activities you see people do. What can you see as you take your ride to your destination? Is your route clear? Present the experience to your class in a poster map, a digital slide show and a staged seating of the ride. Rearrange chairs to mimic the experience.
Experience mass transit!
- The No. 1 form of air pollution is:
- When you ride mass transit , you get more time to:
- Cars are helpful because they are:
- _________ are unclean environmental conditions or substances from the use of vehicles.
- Mass transit transportation systems move many more __________ from one place to another.
- America on the Move
- Chicago Transit Authority
- Community Car
- Downtown Transportation Center
- Funiculars of Switzerland
- Greyhound Bus
- Links to World Subways
- Low Carbon Transportation
- New York Mass Transit
- Paris Metro
- Rapid Transit
- Rate Your Transit System!
- Reconnecting Neighborhoods
- TRAC Michigan DOT program for future transportation designers
- Transit Future Chicago
- World Rapid Transit