Public Transport


Public transport is a shared passenger-transport service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, carpooling, hired buses, and transportation network companies, which are not shared by the general public without private arrangement.

A passenger is a person who travels in a vehicle but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination or otherwise operate the vehicle.

A taxicab, also known as a taxi or a cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride.

Omnibus is the Latin for "for all", and refers to a passenger-carrying vehicle, originally an enclosed horse-drawn one.

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Public transport modes include city buses, trolleybuses, trams and passenger trains, rapid transit and ferries.

Rapid transit, also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas.

A tram is a rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets, and also sometimes on a segregated right of way.

A trolleybus is an electric bus that draws power from overhead wires using spring-loaded trolley poles.

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Public transport between cities is dominated by airlines, coaches, and intercity rail.

Inter-city rail services are express passenger train services that cover longer distances than commuter or regional trains.

An airline is a company that provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight.


High-speed rail networks are being developed in many parts of the world.

High-speed rail is a type of rail transport that operates significantly faster than traditional rail traffic, using an integrated system of specialized rolling stock and dedicated tracks.


Most public transport systems run to a prearranged timetable, with the most frequent services running to a headway.

Headway is a measurement of the distance or time between vehicles in a transit system.


Share taxis offer on-demand services in many parts of the world, and some services will wait until the vehicle is full before it departs.

The original meaning of the word shuttle is the device used in weaving to carry the weft.

A share taxi is a mode of transport which falls between both taxicabs and buses.


Paratransit is sometimes used in areas of low demand and for people who need a door-to-door service.

Paratransit is recognized in North America as special transportation services for people with disabilities, often provided as a supplement to fixed-route bus and rail systems by public transit agencies.


There are distinct differences in urban public transit between Asia, North America, and Europe.


In Asia, mass transit operations are predominantly run by profit driven, privately-owned and publicly traded mass transit and real estate conglomerates.

Real estate is "property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this an item of real property, buildings or housing in general.


In North America, mass transit operations are predominantly run by municipal transit authorities.


In Europe, mass transit operations are predominantly run by both state-owned and private companies.


Public transport services can be profit-driven by use of pay-by-the-distance fares or funded by government subsidies in which flat rate fares are charged to each passenger.

A fare is the fee paid by a passenger for use of a public transport system: rail, bus, taxi, etc. In the case of air transport, the term airfare is often used.


Services can be fully profitable through high usership numbers and high farebox recovery ratios, or can be regulated and possibly subsidised from local or national tax revenue.

In accounting, revenue is the income that a business has from its normal business activities, usually from the sale of goods and services to customers.

The farebox recovery ratio of a passenger transportation system is the fraction of operating expenses which are met by the fares paid by passengers.


Fully subsidised, free of charge services operate in some towns and cities.


For geographical, historical and economic reasons, there are differences internationally regarding use and extent of public transport.


While countries in the Old World tend to have extensive and frequent systems serving their old and dense cities, many cities of the New World have more sprawl and much less comprehensive public transport.

The Old World consists of Africa, Europe, and Asia, regarded collectively as the part of the world known to Europeans before contact with the Americas.

The New World is one of the names used for the Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas.


The International Association of Public Transport is the international network for public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry.


It has 3,400 members from 92 countries.

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