Methods of Transportation to School

Which methods of transportation are the best choices?

Why is the method of transportation we choose important?

The method of transportation we choose is very important because it has a drastic effect on the planet. Fuel combustion from cars, trucks, buses and many other vehicles causes emissions of carbon dioxide (CO₂). CO₂ is a greenhouse gas which participates in the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect occurs when greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide, are released into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases trap some of the Sun's radial rays of heat into the lower atmosphere. Burning one gallon of gas (approximately 3.785 litres), creates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. All of the vehicles that travel on roads are responsible for 74% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. If our enormous emissions of CO₂ continue, global warming can become a terrifying reality.
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Why should we find an alternative to using individual cars?

Using our cars is a great way to get around. It's fast, convenient and cheap. You do not have to pay each time you drive, you do not have to wait for someone to pick you up and it's an overall, fast and preferable method of transportation. Using your car is absolutely great, right? Wrong. The average car emits six tons of carbon dioxide each year. If we all use our cars, we will be emitted immense amounts of carbon dioxide. We need to find an alternative. Transporting more than one person at once would be a good option because if 5 people all used their own cars as their transportation, there would be 5 cars emitted carbon dioxide. However, if these 5 people all travelled in one car, there would only be one car emitted carbon dioxide, but all 5 people could still reach their destination.
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What are the pros of cons of each method of transportation?

After analyzing results obtained from a survey that was recently conducted, half of our respondents thought that their method of transportation was the most environmentally friendly. Out of these 15 people, 3 were walkers, 5 were people using a school bus and 7 were people using the public transit. These methods are all more environmentally friendly than travelling using individual cars, however, these methods have their advantages and countering disadvantages under certain circumstances.

Walking is a very environmentally friendly method of transportation because there is absolutely no fuel combustion or emission of carbon dioxide. However, walking can be very inconvenient to people living more than 3 kilometres away as it can be very time consuming and tiring. Also, it is hard to walk in unpleasant climate such as rain, snow, hail or hot and cold temperatures. Our survey also included other methods of transportation including, biking and carpooling and individual cars. Biking along with walking is also the most environmentally friendly method of transportation, however, it has the same disadvantages as walking.

Using a school bus as your method of transportation is a good choice because many people can be picked up and transported at one time, with only one source of carbon dioxide emissions. If 30 people all travelled using an individual car, there would be 30 different sources that would emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A school bus can drastically decrease the amount of carbon dioxide emitted.

Public transit is also a very good choice for a method of transportation because it is environmentally friendly as it has the same advantage as a school bus, it can pick up and transport many people at once. The public transit will also significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions but it can be a little more of a hassle to go to the bus stop and wait for a bus, possibly more than once, whereas with a school bus, the bus stop is generally close to where you live and you do not need to take more than one bus.

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Which method of transportation is the best alternative to individual cars?

When looking for the best alternative, carpooling is the best option. Although it is not the most environmentally friendly, it is still better for the environment than using individual cars and carpooling is still very convenient as your carpool will most likely pick you up from right in front of your house and you do not have to switch cars or wait outside in uncomfortable weather. Carpooling is also less time consuming as travelling by car is usually the fastest method of transportation. Carpooling will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions as there will be less individual cars as there can be up to 7 people in the same car, reducing CO₂ emissions.

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Which method of transportation should you choose?

As you have discovered, there are many benefits and drawbacks of the various methods of transportation you could use to get to and from school. What holds us back is making the decision for what the best transportation option is for someone with our personal circumstances, in terms of convenience, but also environmental concerns. The problems worthy to consider are time, distance, money, weather, and pollution. In the case of living a great distance from your school, the options are carpooling, public transit, and school buses. However, if time is also a factor, carpooling is the best choice and also good for avoiding unpleasant weather. For more environmental concerns, walking and biking come at the top but if distance is a problem along with this, public transit and school buses are next on the list, unless you choose to save money.

It is important to choose your method of transportation based on your convenience, but make sure to take good care of the environment. If you have an available carpool, make sure you take your chance. We must take care of the environment and reduce as much carbon dioxide emissions as possible. Help make a change and stop global warming.