American Transportation: Driving Today

Welcome back to VIP European Auto blog and part two of Driving in 1776. Thinking back on transportation in the 18th and 19th centuries is amazing how far along we have come. Today we have self-driving Uber and multiple transit systems. Read below to see just how in a century life changed immensely for almost every American.

modern american transportation20th Century Transportation

Land Transportation

During the 1900s railroads were still very large modes of transportation; however, in the beginning of the century cars were introduced. To own an automobile was a luxury, and many people did not need them due to the ease of transportation with street cars from city to suburb.

In 1908 the Model T was introduced by Ford and mass produced for everyone to buy in years to come. By 1920 around 8 million cars were owned throughout America. Now going to the store and work was that much faster and easier. While many people owned cars, traveling across country was still difficult as roads were not as in place. Steamboats, canals, and trains were still the easiest way to move cargo and people over long distances. During World War II trains were some of the best modes of transportation, if not the best way to move large amounts of goods. 

Water Transportation

Oceans, rivers, and canals still served a large part in the transit system throughout the 20th century. Immigrants came to America on both the East and West coasts, people were transported from one side of the country to the other through rivers, and cargo began to be moved much more quickly.

Air Transportation

In the beginning of the 1900s planes were first coming about and were often only used for cargo and very few passengers. Soon the airplane changed the way people would travel forever. They created a much faster way to get from one destination to another, especially from country to country. By the 1960s airlines and airports were expanded to accommodate more passengers and larger amounts of cargo.

21st Century Transportation

Still the beginning of a century no one knows the transportation systems that are about to unfold in the next 80 years until the year 3000. From a car being a luxury a century prior, there are almost 2 cars per family today. Now we also have car services such as Uber and Lyft, that as easy as the push of a button on your phone screen can drive you anywhere you wish. Beyond just the ease of a car service there are also autonomous driving automobiles and electricity powered cars.

Public Transportation systems have also become more in use again. There are trams, buses, and light rails that are being used more often. Many also use public transportation because cars have become so popular and have made it difficult to drive in large cities such as New York. Millennials are said to be the ones who use public transportation the most for quick trips and less harmful emissions into the air.

Transportation has not only changed on land, but in the air and water too. In the late 20th century cargo containers were developed, today those containers are used on trucks, boats, and in planes carrying goods from around the globe. There are over hundreds of airlines throughout the world, some international and some domestic, so air travel is expensive but much easier and faster to get from America to Europe than by boat.

Throughout the centuries transportation changed life for many people. With only feet and a maybe horse many people grew their own food or went to town to trade with other locals during the 18th century. With railroad systems goods became easily accessible from many different locations such as fruit from California and clothes from New York throughout the nation. By 1900 many new states were intact with large cities such as Chicago having 1.6 million inhabitants. In 2000 almost every American home had a car, planes were quick and easy ways to travel, and thoughts of smart cars came about. With technology constantly growing no one knows what sort of transportation will be made in America soon.