Speaking: Public Transport

I began this lesson by thinking about what public transport is. We focused on mass transit that the public has access to, that travels along a fixed route, and that runs to a timetable. 

Next, students brainstormed ideas for different forms of public transport using this handout (not public transports – it’s an uncountable noun). 

We discussed these in our feedback session, and grouped some together:


  • airplane


  • bus
  • trolleybus
  • coach


  • metro (subway)
  • tram (streetcar)
  • light rail
  • train:
    • commuter train
    • intercity train
    • express train
    • high-speed train
  • funicular (cable railway)
  • maglev 
  • monorail
  • people mover


  • ferry:
    • commuter ferry
    • water bus

We added gondolas and cable cars to the list, which run as public transport in some parts of the world. 

We also considered taxis and bicycles – they’re certainly forms of transport that the public has access to, but do they count as public transport?

In Seoul (and may other cities around the world) there is a popular public bike rental scheme, though this is classed as a bicycle sharing system.  As for taxis, perhaps these complement public transport (although it may depend where you’re from!)