1. Less Capital Outlay:
Road transport required much less capital Investment as compared to other modes of transport such as railways and air transport. The cost of constructing, operating and maintaining roads is cheaper than that of the railways. Roads are generally constructed by the government and local authorities and only a small revenue is charged for the use of roads.
2. Door to Door Service:
The outstanding advantage of road transport is that it provides door to door or warehouse to warehouse service. This reduces cartage, loading and unloading expenses.
3. Service in Rural Areas:
Road transport is most suited for carrying goods and people to and from rural areas which are not served by rail, water or air transport. Exchange of goods, between large towns and small villages is made possible only through road transport.
4. Flexible Service:
Road transport has a great advantage over other modes of transport for its flexible service, its routes and timings can be adjusted and changed to individual requirements without much inconvenience.
5. Suitable for Short Distance:
It is more economic and quicker for carrying goods and people over short distances. Delays in transit of goods on account of intermediate loading and handling are avoided. Goods can be loaded direct into a road vehicle and transported straight to their place of destination.
6. Lesser Risk of Damage in Transit:
As the intermediate loading and handling is avoided, there is lesser risk of damage, breakage etc. of the goods in transit. Thus, road transport is most suited for transporting delicate goods like chinaware and glassware, which are likely to be damaged in the process of loading and unloading.
7. Saving in Packing Cost:
As compared to other modes of transport, the process of packing in motor transport is less complicated. Goods transported by motor transport require less packing or no packing in several cases.
8. Rapid Speed:
If the goods are to be sent immediately or quickly, motor transport is more suited than the railways or water transport. Water transport is very slow. Also much time is wasted in booking the goods and taking delivery of the goods in case of railway and water transport.
9. Less Cost:
Road transport not only requires less initial capital investment, the cost of operation and maintenance is also comparatively less. Even if the rate charged by motor transport is a little higher than that by the railways, the actual effective cost of transporting goods by motor transport is less. The actual cost is less because the motor transport saves in packing costs and the expenses of intermediate loading, unloading and handling charges.
10. Private Owned Vehicles:
Another advantage of road transport is that big businessmen can afford to have their own motor vehicles and initiate their own road services to market their products without causing any delay.
11. Feeder to other Modes of Transport:
The movement of goods begins and ultimately ends by making use of roads. Road and motor transport act as a feeder to the other modes of transport such as railways, ships and airways.
In spite of various merits, road/motor has some serious limitations:
1. Seasonal Nature:
Motor transport is not as reliable as rail transport. During rainy or flood season, roads become unfit and unsafe for use.
2. Accidents and Breakdowns:
There are more chances of accidents and breakdowns in case of motor transport. Thus, motor transport is not as safe as rail transport.
3. Unsuitable for Long Distance and Bulky Traffic:
This mode of transport is unsuitable and costly for transporting cheap and bulky goods over long distances.
4. Slow Speed:
The speed of motor transport is comparatively slow and limited.
5. Lack of Organisation:
The road transport is comparatively less organised. More often, it is irregular and undependable. The rates charged for transportation are also unstable and unequal
The desirable features of mass transit systems are balanced by a number of serious drawbacks. In the first place, such systems are economically feasible only in areas that have relatively large populations. As the number of inhabitants per square mile decreases, the efficiency of a mass transportation system also decreases.
Mass transit systems are also very expensive to build and to operate. This factor becomes more important when cities decide to install mass transit systems long after development has already taken place and disruption of existing structures is a serious problem. Since mass transit systems seldom receive the government assistance provided to highway construction, consumers often have to pay a higher fraction of the costs of using mass transportation.
People complain about mass transportation systems also because they can be crowded, uncomfortable, dirty, and unreliable. Again, with limited budgets, mass transit systems are seldom able to maintain equipment and schedules to the extent that riders can rightly demand.
Finally, mass transportation systems are simply not as convenient as the automobile. A person can step into her or his car and drive virtually anywhere with a minimum of inconvenience. No mass transportation system can approach this level of ease.