Cars were not allowed in Bermuda until 1946. Today Bermuda has a large number of private cars, almost one for every two inhabitants; however, only residents are allowed to drive them. This is largely because, with close to 300,000 visitors a year, allowing car rental on one of the world’s most densely populated islands would quickly bring traffic to a standstill, as well as bankrupt the island’s taxi industry. Car prices are much higher than in the United States, Canada, and Europe, due to heavy import duties, and residents are also limited to one car per household. The size of cars is also restricted (due to the narrow and winding roads on Bermuda), meaning that many models popular in the United States, Canada, and Europe are not available in Bermuda. Only the Governor and Premier are exempt from these restrictions.
There is no car hire (car rental); visitors may only rent low-power motor scooters; they may also use the extensive public bus system, or take taxis. The highest speed limit anywhere on the island is 35 km/h (approximately 20 mph), and it is lower in built-up and other congested areas.
Sustainable transport (or green transport) refers to any means of transport with low impact on the environment, and includes walking and cycling, transit oriented development, green vehicles, CarSharing, and building or protecting urban transport systems that are fuel-efficient, space-saving and promote healthy lifestyles.
Sustainable transport systems make a positive contribution to the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the communities they serve. Transport systems exist to provide social and economic connections, and people quickly take up the opportunities offered by increased mobility. The advantages of increased mobility need to be weighed against the environmental, social and economic costs that transport systems pose.
The term sustainable transport came into use as a logical follow-on from sustainable development, and is used to describe modes of transport, and systems of transport planning, which are consistent with wider concerns of sustainability. There are many definitions of the sustainable transport, and of the related terms sustainable transportation and sustainable mobility. One such definition, from the European Union Council of Ministers of Transport, defines a sustainable transportation system as one that:
Allows the basic access and development needs of individuals, companies and society to be met safely and in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health, and promotes equity within and between successive generations.
Is Affordable, operates fairly and efficiently, offers a choice of transport mode, and supports a competitive economy, as well as balanced regional development.
he post-war years brought increased wealth and a demand for much greater mobility for people and goods. The number of road vehicles in Britain increased fivefold between 1950 and 1979, with similar trends in other Western nations. Most affluent countries and cities invested heavily in bigger and better-designed roads and motorways, which were considered essential to underpin growth and prosperity. Transport planning became a branch of civil engineering and sought to design sufficient road capacity to provide for the projected level of traffic growth at acceptable levels of traffic congestion – a technique called “predict and provide”. Public investment in transit, walking and cycling declined dramatically in the United States, Great Britain and Australasia, although this did not occur to the same extent in Canada or mainland Europe.
Transport systems are major emitters of greenhouse gases, responsible for 23% of world energy-related GHG emissions in 2004, with about three quarters coming from road vehicles. Currently 95% of transport energy comes from petroleum. Energy is consumed in the manufacture as well as the use of vehicles, and is embodied in transport infrastructure including roads, bridges and railways.
n practice there is a sliding scale of green transport depending on the sustainability of the option. Green vehicles are more fuel-efficient, but only in comparison with standard vehicles, and they still contribute to traffic congestion and road crashes. Well-patronised public transport networks based on traditional diesel buses use less fuel per passenger than private vehicles, and are generally safer and use less road space than private vehicles. Green public transport vehicles including electric trains, trams and electric buses combine the advantages of green vehicles with those of sustainable transport choices. Other transport choices with very low environmental impact are cycling and other human-powered vehicles, and animal powered transport. The most common green transport choice, with the least environmental impact is walking.
ities with overbuilt roadways have experienced unintended consequences, linked to radical drops in public transport, walking, and cycling. In many cases, streets became void of “life.” Stores, schools, government centers and libraries moved away from central cities, and residents who did not flee to the suburbs experienced a much reduced quality of public space and of public services. As schools were closed their mega-school replacements in outlying areas generated additional traffic; the number of cars on US roads between 7:15 and 8:15 a.m. increases 30% during the school year.