We are now really ambivalent about private cars because they, despite contributing greatly to our life, are also the root causes for chains of aftermaths: intensification of congestion, worsening air quality, and even the decrease of public physique. Being afraid that the situation will go further, we are now putting public transportation again in our sights. However, because of some subtle reasons, instancing vanity or self-esteem, some of us turn their backs to accepting short-distance buses or interstate coaches. Thus, several approaches should be adopted to encourage them.
The re-organization of bus routes and improvement of infrastructure should come first. Local authorities always focus their attention on some “hot spots”, such as downtown, prestige neighborhoods, and the districts with dense population but are deaf to the strong demands from those “less important” areas, including suburb areas and the ones of complicated geographical conditions, where eventually become “blind spots”. Failing the access to public transportation, the grass-roots in these places have perforce to choose private cars. If bettered roads and reformed traffic arrangement allow buses to reach these people and they will not shrug this way off because it is so environmentally-friendly and, more importantly, can also ease their economic burden.
Another strategy for stirring the public to use public transportation should be related to governmental propaganda and some special services should also be provided aboard. The practice of France can teach us a lot. The local authorities of Paris organize an activity called “Busing Your Dream”, the mileages of a passenger will be exchanged to his credit and this credit will be very helpful for a passenger to apply for personal loan or jobs because banks and companies believe that the citizen loving environment is trustworthy, and vice versa. Meanwhile, bus companies also provide weather forecast and exclusive news. It is obvious that the carrot and stick approach is also powerful in this aspect.
In conclusion, the popularity of public transportation can only be fulfilled by the government and public, thus, the key to this problem is that the two parties must spend collective efforts, both in hardware and awareness. (350)