Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. (context UK AU NZ English) Any form of transport that can be used by a member of public (usually for a fee); as opposed to private ownership of e.g. cars.
n. conveyance for passengers or mail or freight
and by number of stations]]
Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, or mass transit) is a shared passenger-transport service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, carpooling, or hired buses, which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.
Public transport modes include city buses, trolleybuses, trams (or light rail) and passenger trains, rapid transit (metro/subways/undergrounds etc) and ferries. Public transport between cities is dominated by airlines, coaches, and intercity rail. High-speed rail networks are being developed in many parts of the world. Most public transport runs to a scheduled timetable with the most frequent services running to a headway (e.g.: "every 5 minutes" as opposed to being scheduled for any specific time of the day). Share taxis offer on-demand services in many parts of the world, and some services will wait until the vehicle is full before it starts. Paratransit is sometimes used in areas of low-demand and for people who need a door-to-door service.
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. 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. Services can be fully profitable through high ridership numbers and high farebox recovery ratios, or can be regulated and possibly subsidized from local or national tax revenue. Fully subsidized, zero-fare (free) services operate in some towns and cities.
For 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 International Association of Public Transport (UITP) 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.
Usage examples of "public transport".
There were half a dozen European passengers in the forward end of the bus, and in conformity with the creed of apartheid on public transport, a score or so of Coloureds and natives sat behind the wire-meshed dividing grill.
You don't have to be an engineer to find your way around on public transport.
Shozana had stepped lightly onto the transporter pad, then turned to wave back at him, her russet hair gleaming in the warm afternoon sunlight that poured through the clear crystal skylights of the public transport station.
The alternative was to find public transport to Bilbringi and nose around for clues as to what Reck was up to.
Egmon had an opportunity to answer only some minutes later, once, the 3 had descended to a lower traffic level and stepped aboard a public transport that would take them out of the city as quickly as possible.
I bought her a bicycle, so that she could be independent of public transport, which often didn't run.
The three ATACs ended up out on what appeared to be a public transport platform, like a subway station.
He left the counter and moved to intercept her as she headed for the public transport park.
Travelling by public transport no longer seemed a good idea, in view of his appearance, but he had enough money to go by taxi to Porterburg and find a discreet hotel.
It may have been a part of the city's public transport system, judging from the insignia on its sides, but it had been in the shop for repairs when the aliens began their bombardment and had been overlooked in the ensuing chaos.