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Human-made ecosystems : Transport and communication systems

In our daily life, travel, movement and exchange have become significant aspects. When we travel on vacation, move commodities from one place to another and exchange information, and in all of these, there are certain basic ideas that emerge.

Transport and communication systems

 

In our daily life, travel, movement and exchange have become significant aspects. When we travel on vacation, move commodities from one place to another and exchange information, and in all of these, there are certain basic ideas that emerge. These are determined based on the fundamental characteristics of transport such as the distance, time and cost of travel.

 

We can understand well the association between travel and movement through an explanation of transport. Through transport development, the vehicles and the modes have been shortening the travel distances in the last few years. The Concorde aircraft travelled at great speed to cover the 6,000 km between New York and London in 3 hours. The 462 km distance between Paris and Lyons is covered in 2 hours at a speed of 270 km/hour by the super speed train known as the TGV. The TGV has been in operation since 1983. Another milestone in the history of French Railways is a train being run by a computer and without driver. Such developments lessen the value of travel distance day by day.

Transport as an activity is being carried out mostly by roads, railways, sea routes, river ways, air routes and by the telecommunications. The landscape characteristics of a place determine the nature of vehicles and modes of travel. The travel costs vary with the types of vehicles and modes of travel. This cost may be divided into travel cost and freight cost. These charges are collected from us towards meeting the expenses of travel and transporting goods to places by the transport sector or agency. The agency expenditure is of three types:

1.    Costs of administration and salaries to the personnel.

 2.    Costs incurred in the utilisation and management of transport vehicles and modes.

3.    Fuel and other input costs.

 

The money paid towards travel is the travel cost (ticket cost). We pay some charges for the 'luggage' we take with us; but we do so when its weight exceeds a certain ceiling. The two costs differ with the travel distance. For short distances, these costs are low and for long distances, they are high. The rate of these costs decrease with increasing distances. With the modes, they are differently charged. Freight charges collected by the railways are slightly smaller than those collected by other modes.

 

There are incidental (other than travel) expenses, incurred by the travellers when they are on trips. These incidental charges also differ with different modes of travel. In general, a part of this cost is collected as transport tax. At the sea ports and the airports, this is collected as taxes. The costs incurred while on travel are also included in such costs; for example, the expenditure incurred in getting to the railway station or the bus stand towards a travel.


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