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Mass Transportation

Alternative Forms Of Mass Transportation

Some critics have suggested that new forms of mass transportation be developed that will preserve the special advantages of this form of transit while avoiding some of its disadvantages. For example, many cities and companies have set up van pools for their employees. People who live close to each other are picked up in small vans and brought to and from work as a group. Other cities have experimented with dial-a-ride programs in which citizens (often elderly citizens) can call to request transportation in a mini-van from one point to another within the city.

Many cities have attempted to increase the use of mass transit systems by discouraging the use of automobiles. For example, they have imposed high taxes on parking within the city and have raised tolls on bridges and tunnels leading to the city.

Efforts to improve existing mass transit systems, the development of new subway, trolley, and bus lines, the introduction of alternative forms of mass transportation, and attempts to discourage automobile use have had limited successes in specific parts of the United States. On a national level, however, they have had only a limited impact on the way in which citizens choose to move about within a city and from city to city.



Meyer, John R., and Jose A. Gomez-Ibañez. Autos, Transit, and Cities. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981.

Miller, G. Tyler, Jr. Living in the Environment: An Introduction to Environmental Science. 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1985. pp 220-225.

Owen, Wilfred. Transportation in Cities. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1976.

Reische, Diana, ed. Problems of Mass Transportation. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1970.

David E. Newton


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—A high-speed highway, usually consisting of at least four lanes separated from each other by means of a divider, on which no toll is charged.

Intercity transportation

—Any form of transportation used to move people and freight from one urban area to another.

Light rail system

—Transportation systems in which vehicles move along railway tracks on vehicles that are significantly smaller and lighter than traditional railroad cars.

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