What does ‘Public Transport’ mean? Public Transport (PT) (or alternatively ‘mass transit modes’) is usually defined as passengers’ transport systems and services, which are under the control of public or private providers. These are operating with vehicles, - typically with a high capacity (large number of seats) - which are shared by passengers. PT can be used by the general public with equal access conditions on a regular and ongoing basis, usually on predetermined, fixed routes and time schedules, without the possibility of pre-booking.
Typical examples: The usual PT systems operating in urban contexts include, among others, the buses (operated with fuel engines, batteries or electricity, e.g. trolleybus), tram, metro, electric city rail, water bus, the rapid high-efficiency buses run in special lanes (Bus Rapid Transit). In addition, there are other means of transport that fall partly under the category of PT or can be considered under certain conditions as part of this. For instance, the demand responsive transport services, cable cars, vehicle sharing schemes (collective transport operated with cars, vans, etc.), the automated guideway vehicle system run along a road or track (Personalised Rapid Transit, or ‘podcars’), etc.
How does PT cooperate with other transport modes and soft modes of mobility? PT systems are usually applied according to the local urban needs, peculiarities, patterns and planning, comprise the backbone of transport in any city context and are being integrated (or at least they should be integrated) harmoniously with the soft modes of mobility, such as walking, cycling, etc., succeeding high level of synergy.