The Travel Report

Public transport is a wonderful idea. If only more people would make use of it, there would be far fewer cars on the roads, and it would be so much easier to get from A to B. Of course personally it's not suitable for me to use, but if everyone else used it there'd be much less congestion.

How many people think like this? In order to solve the traffic problems common to the industrialised western world we need to convert people's thinking from this, to an acceptance that public transport is for them.

What then can be done to improve people's image of public transport? Conventional wisdom falls into two basic groups. The first approach is to make driving more expensive and difficult, thus however poor the current public transport infrastructure is, it becomes more appealing. The second option is to improve the quality and frequency of transport services thus tempting more people into using them. The second option is more expensive, but more likely to have speedy results. Unsurprisingly, user groups tend to favour the second option, while government bodies favour the first.

What both these approaches lack is something to counter the appeal and convenience of personal transport. There needs to be an additional interest, or even excitement built in to the public transport system. Something that would get passengers to queue up to use it. What mode of transport has people flocking to use it?

The answer is surprisingly simple - replace (and extend) railway tracks with roller-coasters. Initial conversion costs would be extensive, but once in place, people would use the public transport system just because it's there, not even because they had reason to travel. Local services could be replaced by smaller rides, with inter-city services replaced by white-knuckle rides.

Imagine the excitement genetated simply by taking the 'train' to work in the morning. A trip to the seaside would still be a treat for your children, but no longer just because of the destination!

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