Sweden has been working on an exciting new technology, dubbed “The Future of Mobility.”
Imagine climbing into your car, only now you can stretch your legs comfortably in the roomy cabin. Instead of fighting reckless drivers and morning traffic, you can whip open your phone or laptop, catch up on work, or just zone out, and be sure you’ll show up at your destination safe and sound.
And all of that without feeling guilty about polluting the ozone.
It’s not just a fantasy anymore. Behold:
Yes, the future of transportation in Sweden is … a bus.
But it might not be as silly as it sounds.
The clever ad comes from Swedish public transport agency Västtrafik, which wants to encourage more commuters to take the bus (or train) instead of clogging the road with cars. In addition to the ad campaign, Västtrafik is also offering riders two weeks of free public transit to show them how great it can be.
Obviously, public transport isn’t a good fit for everyone, especially those who live or work outside major urban centers. But according to a press release, Västtrafik expects to gain over 5,000 new regular riders from the experiment.
Sweden hopes to be “climate neutral” by 2050, and getting more cars off the road is a big part of the plan.
Photo by Erik Martensson/AFP/Getty Images.
We’ve seen lots of small islands and isolated communities completely wean themselves off fossil fuels, but for a developed nation like Sweden to do it would be a massive feat.
One of the biggest challenges will be to cut the country’s carbon emissions — about a third of which come from domestic travel, according to . Frankly, it just makes sense.
“A normal car in Sweden stands still for 97 percent of its lifetime and for every car there are eight parking spaces and many miles of road,” said Sweden’s environment minister, Karolina Skog. “You can’t call that effective.”
The country already gets the majority of its energy from renewable sources wind, and it’s working on making its fleet of buses and trains even more energy efficient.
Thanks, Sweden, for showing the rest of the world what climate-conscious policy should look like.
Not all nations believe the interests of its people and the planet can be served at the same time, but you have to wonder if they might be singing a different tune as the impact of climate change becomes more severe.
The more of us who are willing to get involved and (gasp!) maybe sit next to another human being on our morning commute, the better chance we have at slowing down this “runaway bus.”