SustainablePublic Transport By Lochlan Partington
Introduction – I wanted to find out about environmentally friendly forms of public transport. Well, I was going to do a project on the Tasmanian devil, but I thought “I’ve done this a lot over the past two terms, so why not do something else?” I instantly thought, PUBLIC TRANSPORT! I then started to randomly say ideas and eventually got onto the subject of the future of public transport, one of the ideas was magnet cars and magnet roads, these cars would emit no greenhouse gasses, no co2 and would be a whole lot faster than regular cars. Also the magnet roads could be built through a forest without damaging it, how? By placing the magnets in the spaces between trees and having the cars hover via the magnets opposite force above the rainforest. That is why I wanted to research public transport. Perth has the best light rail system in Australia, has the “CAT” buses in the city and has a lot of bike and walking paths. If we stop building more light rail we may go down the same road as LA, literally. BAD TABLEMode of Bus Train Car PlanestransportAmount of 0.03kg 0.02kg 0.33kgCO2 (kg perperson perkm)Number of Approximately Approximately 300 Approximately 4 Approximatelypassengers 60 400Infrastructure roads rail roads -requiredSupport Repair & Repair & Repair &network maintenance maintenance maintenancerequiredPower Diesel, electric, Diesel, electric Petrol, diesel, Petrolrequired gas hybrid, gas
GOOD TABLEMode of Bus Train Monorail Walking/ cyclingtransportAmount of 0.03kg 0.02kg 0.0kgCO2 (kg perperson perkm)Number of Approximately Approximately 300 Approximately 1passengers 60 90Infrastructure roads rail Suspended rail Paths/tracksrequiredSupport Repair &network maintenancerequiredPower Diesel, electric, Diesel, electric Mainly electric Human powerrequired gas
What is the problem? High CO2 emissions lead to Greenhouse gases and hence, climate change Depleting energy resources Air qualityWhat are the solutions?More people use public transport to travel to work in Sydney than any other major Australian city. The morepeople that choose public transport, the better our air quality will be. For example, if each bus carriesaround 30 people, thats potentially 30 cars off the road. Along with walking and cycling, public transport isclassed as ‘active transport’ – transport that involves some degree of physical activity and reduces relianceon car use.
What is Sustainable transport?Sustainable transport (or green transport) refers to any means of transport with low impact on theenvironment, and includes non-motorised transport, i.e. walking and cycling, transit oriented development,green vehicles, carpooling, and building or protecting urban transport systems that are fuel-efficient, space-saving and promote healthy lifestyles.Sustainable transport systems make a positive contribution to the environmental, social and economicsustainability of the communities they serve. Transport systems exist to provide social and economicconnections, and people quickly take up the opportunities offered by increased mobility. The advantages ofincreased mobility need to be weighed against the environmental, social and economic costs that transportsystems pose.Transport systems have significant impacts on the environment, accounting for between 20% and 25% ofworld energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from transport areincreasing at a faster rate than any other energy using sector. Road transport is also a major contributor tolocal air pollution and smog. (ref.3)Graph from: lets clear the air, New South Wales Government.
What type of transport is there now?Cars:Cars are the least environmentally friendly road transport at the moment. Cars emit higher amounts of CO2than 3 buses or 3 trains combined. Here is a graph to prove that:Graph from: NSW Transport, sydney buses.Buses:Buses may be an environmentally friendly alternative to driving a car, but it is still less environmentallyfriendly than trains/monorails. They carry around 60 people on average whereas trains and monorails cancarry around 200! A transit bus (US), also known as a commuter bus, city bus, or public bus, is a bus used forshort-distance public transport purposes. The buses we have in Australia aren’t really that much different,our buses consist of: the CAT buses found in the city, Transperth buses found all over the city and Transitbuses.Motor vehicle emissions are the main source of air pollution in major cities such as Sydney, and make a largecontribution to greenhouse gas emissions. Buses produce around 100 kilograms of greenhouse gases a year,whereas a car will emit around 4000 kilograms of greenhouse gases a year. Now this is mostly correct, withsome fuel efficient cars only emitting around 2000kg of greenhouse gases a year (that’s still quite a lot).Trains / Monorails:Almost all modern monorails are powered by electric motors fed by dual third rails, contact wires orelectrified channels attached to or enclosed in their guidance beams. However, diesel-powered monorailsystems also exist. Historically, some systems, such as the Monorail, located in Listowel, County Kerry, usedsteam locomotives. Modern monorails depend on a large solid beam as the vehicles running surface. Thereare a number of designs divided into two classes, straddle-beam and suspended monorails.
Transrapid maglev on monorail trackThe most common type of monorail in use today is the straddle-beam monorail, in which the train straddlesa reinforced concrete beam in the range of two to three feet wide. A rubber-tired carriage contacts thebeam on the top and both sides for traction and to stabilize the vehicle. The straddle-beam style waspopularized by the German company ALWEG. Magnetic levitation train (maglev) systems by theGerman Transrapid were built as straddle-type monorails, as they are highly stable and allow rapiddeceleration from great speed. When in full-speed operation maglev trains hover over the track and are notin physical contact with it. The maglev is the fastest train of any type, the experimental JR-Maglev havingrecorded a speed of 581 km/h.The French company SAFEGE offers a monorail system in which the train cars are suspended beneath thewheel carriage. In this design the carriage wheels ride inside the single beam. The Monorail is presently theworlds largest suspended monorail network.There is also a historical type of suspension monorail developed by German inventors Nicolaus Otto andEugen Langen in the 1880s. It was built in the twin cities of Barmen and Elberfeld in Wupper Valley,Germany, opened in 1901, and is still in operation.A suspended monorail in Germany.
What innovative types of transport are being developed?Heli-carsThe PAL-V (personal air and land vehicle) can be driven on any road in almost any city with a standarddriver’s license. It can reach speeds of 180 km/h on the ground. It has 3 wheels and is a lot quieter thanhelicopters, won’t stall mid-air and is very easy to control. The PAL-V can land practically anywhere. The carrequires a run way to take off and relies on the same fuel as cars. It is not very fuel efficient as it is basically acar with the ability to fly. Information has only just been released in 2012, made by a Dutch company.Straddling busesTraffic jams are increasingly becoming a problem, this new invention could help, the straddling bus is up to10 metres tall and will have its interior 4 metres above the ground, allowing cars and some small trucks topass underneath. It will travel at speeds of up to 60 km/h and will carry 1200-1400 passengers whilestraddling 2 lanes of traffic. It is supposed to reduce traffic jams by 20-30%.MonocabsThe monocab, an invention by David Whittaker, is like a personal monorail. It can carry 8 to 16 people. Amonocab will always be waiting for you at the “ministations”. It will go directly to your destination, meaningno additional stops on the way. The elevated rails it will be suspended on will not interfere with traffic belowthem. There will be 7000 cars on the gold coast monorail. It only costs $6.1 million instead of $28 million fortrain tracks per kilometre. Ministations will be 2-3 metres wide, like a bus stop. If it a cab breaks down it willonly inconvenience the people on board unlike train systems where if a train breaks down a whole lot morewill be inconvenienced and can be held up for days! The first monorail was made in Russia in 1820 by IvanElmanov.
ConclusionI found out that cars emit a huge amount of dangerous gases and I was amazed at how little greenhousegases buses and trains emit. I found out about Monocabs and Straddling Buses saw what a suspensionmonorail looks like and got to see how fast a maglev monorail can go (over 500km/h). I found out that thefirst monorail was made in 1820 and that the Disneyland monorail wasn’t one of a kind. I found out howterrible LA’s public transport system is and how close we are to becoming a metaphorical LA. I found out thatMelbourne has the best public transport system in Australia and that Perth has the best light rail system inAustralia. I’ve learnt what types of transport are in existence now and what types of transport are still indevelopment. I’ve learnt what is a sustainable mode of transport and what is a bad mode of transport, I’velearnt that cars aren’t as environmentally friendly as I thought they were and that buses and trains are a lotmore environmentally friendly than I originally thought.
Key words and phrases from what I have found Public transport Environmentally friendly Decreasing the carbon emissions of transport Energy saving Sustainable transportation Innovation Monorails Magnetic trains/monorailsBibliography 1. Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Government. (2012). Let’s Clear the Air, 19/08/2012, http://www.cleartheair.nsw.gov.au/initiatives/actions_for_cleaner_air/transport.aspx 2. Wikipedia. (2012). Public transport, 18/08/2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transport 3. Wikipedia. (2012). Sustainable transportation, 18/08/2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_transportation 4. http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_rrd_103.pdf (not actual website) 5. Grosvenor, M. (2008). Energy Saving Tips for Dummies, Wiley Publishing, MILTON. 6. Fordham, A. (2011). Personal Monorail, Popular Science, May 2011, 14-15. 7. Garnaut, R. (2008). The Garnaut Climate Change Review, Cambridge University Press, CAMBRIDGE. http://www.garnautreview.org.au/pdf/Garnaut_Chapter21.pdf . (Online book). 8. http://www.toxel.com/tech/2012/05/19/helicopter-car/ 9. http://www.chinahush.com/2010/07/31/straddling-bus-a-cheaper-greener-and-faster-alternative- to-commute/