There are many forms of alternative transportation, but first let’s define our terms: alternative transportation is essentially getting around without using oil-based fuels, or a marked reduction in such use. Thus, we’ve got hybrid and electric cars, engines converted for use of burning spent oils from taco shops and the like, and even hemp oil-burning diesel engines (what Rudolph Diesel designed his engine to burn on originally). However, some of the above listed still contribute to putting carbon (via CO2) into the air. So even better would be Segways (with the hope that their electricity is from non coal-burning sources), rickshaws, skateboards, or my favorite: the bicycle. Of course, the list could run as long as a marathoner!
There are other transportation alternatives that are both inexpensive and eco-friendly. Biking, carpooling, ride sharing, walking , and making use of public transportation are among a few. However, the most controversial form of alternative transportation is the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) or Personal Automated Transport (PAT). These things called ‘podcars’ are “small, independent vehicles on a network of specially-built guideways.” They are similar to BART trains but they are built to be much smaller so as to accommodate smaller groups of people. The reason these podcars are built smaller than usual is to avoid wasting time waiting for the trains to get filled before leaving. Since they don’t follow a schedule either, they can leave and take people to where they have to go anytime, continuously.
These podcars seem to have a lot of benefits as people would no longer have to worry about traffic, parking, or carrying gas anymore. There would be less car accidents and they are eco-friendly as energy consumption would dramatically decrease with the use of these podcars instead of cars. However, the use of these podcars seems more like a potential concept rather than something than can be of use in the present. Some of these are already active in other parts of the world, but only for trial purposes. Getting these podcars running would take a lot of work and money. If those in charge don’t master the system enough, people could hack into the system and create more problems. Podcars would be perfect for the environment, but it would definitely take some time before we can gain access to them.
Check out the video clip available on the Alternative Transportation site to learn more about this. The link is provided below.
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