Yesterday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said there are in excess of 1 million vehicles on the roadways in Trinidad and Tobago. That’s a lot, for a country with a population of some 1.3 million people. Wouldn’t you say? Why on earth are we purchasing all these vehicles? Whatever the reason, the reality of the situation is that our ecosystem sadly, cannot manage the pollution and other damage that such vehicular capacity brings with it. Added to the environmental dangers associated with such an intense traffic system, traffic in Trinidad and Tobago is truly unbearable, in various parts, particularly at peak periods. There are some families that are forced to bear intense traffic to and from work, daily. Can you imagine how mentally frustrated these people are?
We thought it would be good to take a look at how some of the world’s larger countries are dealing with traffic congestion or overload. Needless to say, there are a number of major cities around the world, combating the problem. The reality is that we must seek solutions to the problem, rather than simply point it out. So here we go!
In Japan, a country known for its automobile industry, actually uses private transportation sparingly. According to an article on proptiger.com, Japanese folks use cars as a weekend luxury with public transportation being the preferred option to commute to and from work or school. Peak times are relatively normal when it comes to traffic, in Japan, as compared to India.
There’s a big deterrent when it comes to car ownership in Singapore. Citizens are forced to cough up 100 per cent tax plus a certificate of entitlement in that country, to own a vehicle. It’s a pretty good way of keeping private vehicle ownership low.
China is the most populous country in the world, so traffic congestion would be expected there, right!? In 2016, China moved to fix their traffic congestion problem, with five cities signing on to have the Technology Development Company operate the Transit Elevated Bus. The bus actually glides over traffic lanes and transport as many as 1,200 passengers in elevated compartments. Now, that’s technological advancement that’s worth the money, wouldn’t you say? Added to that convenience, is the fact that the Transit Elevated Bus actually runs on solar energy and costs just one-sixteenth of what a subway would cost the authorities in China.