Public transport is a very important factor in the development of any country. Every government should ensure that it has a well developed public transport system. This is due to the fact that public transportation helps in solving some of the challenges facing society today.
For instance, it contributes to the creation of jobs for a large percentage of the people, thus leading to improvement in the quality of life. In order for the public transport system to be effective in moving the economy towards development, the government should ensure that the system is comprehensive. This means that the system should be inclusive of rural public transportation.
According to Spencer, rural areas are defined to include all the non-metropolitan areas that are not in the authority of either the incorporated urban center or village or otherwise (p.19). The aim of this paper is to identify the pros and cons of implementing public transportation in rural areas.
It is important that the government should implement the rural public transportation. By implementing public transportation in rural areas, economic growth is enhanced in many ways. According to Dennis, One of the advantages of implementing the system is that it increases the number of customers who access the different number of services (‘Public transportation on the move in rural America’).
Some of such services include the shopping malls and also the medical facilities. It also opens up the local rural society to increased opportunities, especially the youth, in terms of training. Other services that are opened up include the accessibility to tourism. According to Dennis, rural public transportation is also cost-efficient. This makes it very important for the government to implement an effective rural public transport system.
Some of the individuals argue that it is not worth implementing rural public transportation. This is mainly due to the cost that is involved in the funding of the rural public transport system.
These individuals also contend to the idea that implementing a rural public transport system would lead to degradation of the environment (Spencer, p.12). They also propose that it would be difficult for the local county to maintain and preserve the rural public transport system.
By developing the rural public transport system, most of the rural regions are connected to the urban centers. This means that economic activities in rural areas are improved. This is due to the fact that the transport system will support agricultural activity, which is a characteristic of the rural areas.
For instance, the farm produce will be able to reach the town in due time, where it is either processed or consumed. It also becomes possible for the product to be exported to foreign markets, thus earning the country the much needed foreign exchange.
The economic activities are also boosted in terms of an increased level of tourism. This is due to the fact that some of the rural areas have got amenities that can contribute to tourist attraction. Some of these amenities may include the scenery. If there is no well developed rural public transport system, it would be impossible for the tourist to access these areas.
The public transport system also contributes to the improvement of economic efficiency. For instance, in the US, the government has devised a program that is aimed at compensating individuals who do not have a job. By developing an effective rural public transport system, it becomes possible for the locals to find and keep jobs either in the urban areas or within the transportation industry.
This means that the government’s funds are saved for other programs other than those aimed at unemployment compensation. The rural public transport system also leads to a decline in the level of inequality in terms of educational facilities and training. This is due to the fact that the residents of the rural areas are able to access adequate training facilities, thus leading to an increase in the efficiency of the labor force.
According to Dennis, developing public transport in rural areas helps in the alleviation of some of the challenges that are experienced in areas of rapid growth, such as the shortage of the labor force, which is mostly unskilled (‘Public transportation on the move in rural America’).
This is due to the fact that the rural public transport system provides transport to unemployed citizens who do not own cars. These rapid growth areas have, in the recent past, attracted a large number of individuals, especially the retirees. The rural public transport system becomes advantageous due to the fact that it provides these individuals with accessibility to facilities such as health care.
The opponents of the rural public transport system argue that the cost of implementing the system is high. They argue that the cost of maintenance and preservation of the system is high. This is due to the fact that most of the highway systems in the rural areas are under the rural jurisdiction which does not have the capacity to maintain the local and also the county roads (Spencer, p.23).
This is due to the fact that most of the rural counties that have the mandate of maintaining these transport systems have a very weak financial base. According to Spencer, the high cost of maintenance makes approximately 40% of the county roads in the US to be inadequate for traveling.
The cost of funding for the maintenance of these roads that are characterized by low volume is difficult, especially for most rural areas. This is also worsened by the fact that there is minimal assistance from the state government.
One of the main concerns of the rural areas is the preservation of the natural environment, which constitutes the cultural, historic, or scenic environment. By implementing a rural public transport system, the rural areas would end up experiencing some of the challenges that are experienced by urban residents, such as increased pollution (Spencer, p.30).
From the above discussion, it is evident that it is important for rural public transportation to be implemented. This is due to the fact that it contributes to the economic development of a country. This is through opening up the rural areas by increasing accessibilities to a wide range of facilities such as the education facilities. This leads to an increase in labor supply, thus helping in the alleviation of the labor shortage with respect to skilled labor.
The agricultural sector of the economy is also developed due to an increase in the size of the market for agricultural produce. This shows that the rural transport system leads to the creation of employment either directly or indirectly.
In order to efficiently implement the rural public transport effectively, a rural transport planning committee should be formed. The responsibility of this committee would be to ensure that the rural public transport system is effectively planned. For instance, it should be capable of identifying the benefits that are to be derived by developing a public transport system in a particular area.
The rural public transport system that should be implemented is that which has a long-term perspective. This means that the system should reflect wide dimensions of priorities such as the regional and national. It should also be ensured that the transportation systems plans are coordinated between the different levels of governments. These include the local and state governments.
It should also be ensured that there is proper coordination between land use and transportation, thus reducing the chances of a conflict. The planning committee should also ensure that there are adequate resources to help in the process of implementing rural public transportation. For instance, the committee should ensure that it has adequate technical expertise to aid in the planning process, which presents a challenge.
Brown, Dennis. Public transportation on the move in rural America, Washington: US Department of Agriculture,2008.
American public transportation association. Public transportation takes us there, 2009.
Stephen, Spencer. Planning for transportation in the rural areas: Our rural transport system, United States Department of transportation.2009.