How do most people travel to work where you live? What traffic problems are there in your area? How would you reduce the traffic problems in your area?
  • Tram (noun) - an electric vehicle that transports people, usually in cities, and goes along metal tracks in the road.
  • Trolleybus (noun) - a public transport vehicle with rubber tires that travels along ordinary roads in towns and is driven by electricity supplied from a wire above the road.
  • Rush hour (noun) - the busy part of the day when towns and cities are crowded, either in the morning when people are travelling to work, or in the evening when people are travelling home.
  • Mercifully (adverb) - luckily.
  • Propensity (noun) - a tendency to behave in a particular way.
  • Regardless (adverb) -despite; not being affected by something.
  • Proportionate (adj.) - same as proportional.
  • Initially (adverb) - at the beginning.
  • Trend (noun) - a general development or change in a situation or in the way that people are behaving.
  • Major (adj.) - more important, bigger, or more serious than others of the same type.
  • Side effect (noun) - an unexpected result of a situation.
Check out our course on phrasal verbs!
Check out our course on phrasal verbs!
Questions and answers
Maria: Rory, how do most people travel to work where you live?

Rory: Probably, either by Metro or car or bus, although some people take the trams and the trolleybuses these days and some lucky souls get to go on foot. But the rest of us are like sardines in cans in the rush hour, unfortunately.

Maria: What traffic problems are there in your area?

Rory: Well, just rush and traffic and driving in general really, rules are selectively followed and enforced and the roads are sometimes packed. Then there's this rush to the metro in the morning and then you have the rush hour in the evening time as well. You're lucky if you can get a seat, actually, especially if you're a man. Mercifully, I'm only a few stops from where I get the bus. So it's OK for me, but it can still be quite annoying. And it's the same with most kinds of public transport, to be honest with you. Some of the ladies I work with have this propensity to save a seat for their bags because they should never be left on the floor, apparently, which means it's always a struggle to get a comfortable spot, regardless of whether it's public or private transport seams sometime.

Maria: Are there more traffic problems now than in the past?

Rory: Well, there's more traffic in general there, so I imagine there's been a proportionate rise in the number of problems, but maybe the seriousness has decreased compared to before because we have more safety measures, like everybody's got improved seat belts and there are airbags. Actually, as it turns out, windscreen wipers weren't invented initially with cars. They had to be invented later on. So, yeah, all of these technological improvements probably mean that maybe there are fewer problems. Maybe.

Maria: Do you think there will be fewer traffic problems in the future where you live?

Rory: Well, the infrastructure in Moscow is always developing. So I think the trend I mentioned earlier will continue where I am at the local level too.

Maria: How do traffic problems affect you?

Rory: Well, aside from slow traffic and struggling for a seat, not tremendously, my schedule is quite flexible and I've learned to live with standing, so it's not a major issue for me.

Maria: How would you reduce the traffic problems in your area?
Rory: I think the only way to do that would be to have fewer people, but then the side effect with that would just be spreading the problem around or increasing the problems over a wider area. I think it's better to flow around problems than try and solve them. So I spaced out my schedule, find things to do while I wait and just be generally more patient with people. And that worked out pretty well for me so far.
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