1. How do most people travel long distances in your country?
2. Have the types of transport people use changed much over the last few decades?
3. What kind of improvement have there been in transport in your country in recent years?
4. Do you think transport is likely to continue to improve in the future?
5. Do you think most people should use public transports? Why/ why not?
6. Why some countries impose higher taxes on car ownership? How is the scenario in your country?
Q. 1. How do most people travel long distances in your country?
Answer: In Bangladesh, where I live, most people use either buses or trains when travelling a long distance. Bangladesh has about more than 21,000 kilometres of road, crisscrossed all over the country while about 3000 kilometres of railway. In the year 2017, almost 75 million passengers travelled by rail. However, there is a very tiny percentage of wealthy people who have started to travel by domestic aeroplanes as well. In the past, water transports were highly used throughout the country but in recent days, the use is restricted to villages only.
Q. 2. Have the types of transport people use changed much over the last few decades?
Answer: As a developing nation, Bangladesh still is heavily reliant on affordable public transports, but over the last few decades, the country has gradually started to prefer a bit expensive private transports, such private cars, private minivans and private commercial buses, over the public transports because of their “easy” availability. This change has taken place, of course, because of the steady economic growth in the country over the last few decades. Another significant change, which my country has witnessed in the last few decades, is that the number of motorbikes has skyrocketed (because of their availability and affordability) as more and more people are relying on these two-wheeled vehicles in order to travel short distance rather easily and conveniently.
Q. 3. What kind of improvement have there been in transport in your country in recent years?
Answer: In recent years, the road and transportation system in Bangladesh has significantly improved as more wide highways and roads have been built to facilitate the transportation a greater number of vehicles from one part of the country to another. Major bridges over the large rivers, connecting one part of the country to another, and elevated expressways have also been built in order to significantly reduce the travel time and length.
As for the improvements in vehicles, more and more luxurious buses and trains with air conditioning systems have been added, both in private and public sectors, in order to ensure the comfort and luxury for the passengers recently. The number of domestic flights of aeroplanes has also increased significantly over the last few years as more and more passengers are becoming interested in using aerial routes.
Q. 4. Do you think transport is likely to continue to improve in the future?
Answer: Yes, I have every reason to believe that the improvement in our transportation sector will continue to improve in the future as the county is well on course to become a middle-income developed country in the next decade or so. Besides, with the ever-increasing economic and development activities in the country, Bangladesh has no choice but to develop its road infrastructures and overall transportation system sooner rather than later. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I see that a significant number of people are taking the aerial routes to travel from one part of the country into another in the near future in order to save time.
Q. 5. Do you think most people should use public transports? Why/ why not?
Answer: Yes, I think that most people should use public transports, depending on their availability, as they seem to be more affordable and more reliable in most cases. Besides, in a developing nation like Bangladesh, allowing private citizens to dominate a particular service sector almost inevitably will pave the way for “abuse” and “exploitation” of the existing system in order to “reap off” the citizens financially. On top of that, with more and more people using public transportation systems, the country will be able to put a “cap” on the “indiscriminate use” of private transports, even when not needed, in order to prevent the roads and streets from getting over-crowded. And, as a result of this, we will be able to keep a “cap” on air pollution as well in our country.
Q. 6. Why some countries impose higher taxes on car ownership? How is the scenario in your country?
Answer: The primary reason to impose hefty taxes on car ownership is to discourage citizens from buying and using more and more private cars and to curb air pollution.
The scenario in my country is not much different when it comes to imposing higher taxes on car ownership. In fact, over the last decade, the number of private cars has increased to such extent that the government has been forced to put a tax on the ownership of a new car as high as 300% of the purchasing price in some cases!
This kind of high taxes is only natural in countries where there are a huge number of travellers with significantly limited road infrastructures as this is how the government of a country tries to limit the number of private cars on the streets. This should be also a familiar scenario in countries where there are risks of higher air pollution than its normal danger level.