On the Road to a Healthier Planet and Public

A more frequent, faster and less costly bus system – not more cars and roads- is the solution for the traveling demands of the future of Örebro.

The most efficient way of moving a large number of people ought to be public transport. But why are public buses not working efficiently enough throughout the county, even in 2013?

Every day hopping on and off the bus on the way to the University in Örebro, every day disappointed that the best way to travel takes 3-4 hours of the time that could have been spent better. Every month, when renewing the commuter pass it dawns: almost 1500 SEK poorer per month because of making the choice to live on the countryside. Express buses do exist, but they only run a couple of times per day, limiting the life of a long distance day traveller enormously.

Every now and then, taking the car because of the poor system, the massive traffic during rush hour in Örebro becomes evident. The traffic jam mostly exists within the city, but outside when leaving after a day’s work it is like the lemmings are migrating. Long lines of cars ensure me that there are a lot of people out there who, with the right conditions, would take the bus, instead of their cars. It is in everybody’s interest to have less traffic in and out of Örebro, both for environmental reasons and safety. Who in this modern era of environmental consciousness wants to breathe fumes all day and face the ten times increased risk of ending up in a traffic accident for taking the car?

It is a long known fact that traveling together keeps both the planet and the public healthier, through less emissions and the exercise people get by going to their bus stop instead of traveling alone in their own cars.  More women than men travel by bus and the buses are the only choice some people have, to get to their job. An efficient public transport system would represent an equal society and a functional job market in the region, making it easier for people to live where they want, not forcing them to move into the big city, and the employers being able to get the properly skilled employee for their vacancies, even on the countryside.

But why is it so hard to travel in a consciously manner, outside the city centre? The car will be many people´s first choice as long as buses are considered dull, slow and not trustworthy.

For Örebro, the transport sector’s goal of less emissions is and will be a hard nut to crack since the region is a central logistic point in Sweden. Travel consumers from the county will help get a good start reducing the emissions, just by choosing bus over car when going to their daily work. To be able to do so, easing the choice for the consumer should be of great importance for the politicians of Örebro, making it cheaper and faster and not including hours of waiting, as it is today.

Katarina Wohlfart

Publicerad i Type Magazine i december 2013, Örebro Universitet.

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