Modes of Transport – Road Transport

We find that basically transport is possible through land, air or water, which are called the different modes of transport. On land we use trucks, tractors, etc., to carry goods; train, bus, cars etc. to carry passengers. In air, we find aeroplanes, helicopters to carry passengers as well as goods. Similarly in water we find ships, steamers, etc., to carry goods and passengers. All these are known as various means of transport.

Let us discuss about various modes of transport.

The modes of transport can be broadly divided into three categories: Land transport, Water transport and Air transport.

(I) Land Transport:

Land transport refers to activities of physical movement of goods and passengers on land. This movement takes place on road, rail, rope or pipe. So land transport may further be divided into Road transport, Rail transport, Ropeway transport, pipeline transport. Let us know the details about each of them.

  1. Road Transport

Roads are the means that connect one place to another on the surface of the land. You must have seen roads in your village, in towns and cities. Not all of them look alike. Some of them are made of sand and some may be of chips and cement or coaltar. You find different vehicles plying on roads like bullock carts, cycles, motorcycles, cars, truck, buses, etc. All of these constitute different means of road transport. The means of road transport may be divided into three types: –

  1. Man driven;
  1. Animal driven; and
  1. Motor driven.

You might have seen individuals carrying goods on their head or back, in bicycles or on thelas, move from one place to other. People also ride a bicycle or use rickshaw to travel short distances. We also find animal driven vehicles like carts (drawn by bullocks, camels, horses, donkeys, etc.) used in rural areas to carry crops, straw, fodder and sometimes even people. Sometimes even animals are directly used to carry goods from one place to another. In areas, which are normally covered with snow throughout the year, we find sledges pulled by dogs used to carry both passengers and goods.

Compared with man driven and animal-driven means of road transport, motor driven means of transport have become more important over the years. This is due to their speedy movement and larger carrying capacity. Extension of roads to every corner of the country have also enhanced the use of motor driven transport. The types of motor vehicles used to carry goods and passengers include auto-rickshaws, scooters, vans, buses, tempos and trucks, etc. In Kolkata, tramway also forms part of road transport for carrying passengers.

Advantages of Road transport

Road transport has the following advantages.

  • It is a relatively cheaper mode of transport as compared to other modes.
  • Perishable goods can be transported at a faster speed by road carriers over a short distance.
  • It is a flexible mode of transport as loading and unloading is possible at any destination. It provides door-to-door service.
  • It helps people to travel and carry goods from one place to another, in places which are not connected by other means of transport like hilly areas.

Limitations of Road transport

It has the following limitations.

(i)     Due to limited carrying capacity road transport is not economical for long distance transportation of goods.

(ii)       Transportation of heavy goods or goods in bulk by road involves high cost.

  • It is affected by adverse weather conditions. Floods, rain, landslide, etc., sometimes create obstructions to road transport.