[IELTS Vocabulary] Transportation

This vocabulary list is for reference only. Your Lexical Resource scores are calculated based on the overall level of vocabulary used in your writing and speaking answers. To improve your Lexical Resource scores, it is necessary that you improve your overall level of vocabulary.

However, skillfully incorporating these words in your writing and speaking answers together with a good vocabulary level will increase the chance of enhanced Lexical Recourse scores.

Vocabulary list

1. Traffic Congestion in Cities

Word/PhraseTypeMeaningExample
Alternative routesNoun phraseSecondary roads or paths used to avoid congestionDrivers often seek alternative routes during peak traffic times.
CarpoolingNoun/VerbSharing a car with others for commutingCarpooling helps reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
CommuterNounPerson who travels regularly to work or schoolMany commuters use public transportation to avoid congestion.
CongestionNounBlocked or overcrowded condition, especially in trafficTraffic congestion is a major issue in urban areas.
GridlockNounComplete standstill of trafficGridlock during rush hour frustrates commuters.
InfrastructureNounBasic physical and organizational structures and facilitiesImproving infrastructure can alleviate traffic congestion.
Road capacityNoun phraseMaximum number of vehicles a road can handleIncreasing road capacity can improve traffic flow in cities.
Traffic bottleneckNoun phrasePoint where traffic is forced to slow down or stopAddressing bottlenecks is crucial for easing congestion.
Traffic flowNoun phraseMovement of vehicles on roadsSmooth traffic flow is essential for reducing congestion.
Traffic managementNoun phraseStrategies and systems to regulate traffic flowEffective traffic management reduces congestion and delays.
Urban sprawlNounUnplanned and haphazard growth of urban areasUrban sprawl contributes to increased traffic congestion.

2. Public Transportation vs. Private Vehicles

Word/PhraseTypeMeaningExample
AccessibilityNounEase of use and availabilityPublic transportation improves accessibility for all citizens.
Carbon footprintNoun phraseMeasure of greenhouse gas emissionsUsing public transit reduces individuals’ carbon footprints.
Car ownershipNoun phrasePossessing a vehicle for personal usePublic transit can reduce the need for individual car ownership.
Commuting timeNoun phraseTime spent traveling to work or schoolPublic transit can reduce commuting time compared to driving.
Cost-effectiveAdjectiveProviding good value for the costUsing public transit can be more cost-effective than driving.
Environmental impactNoun phraseEffects on the environment caused by transportationPublic transit has a lower environmental impact than private vehicles.
Fare systemNoun phraseStructure of pricing for public transportationThe fare system influences people’s choice of transportation.
Mass transitNoun phraseTransportation system designed to move large numbers of people efficientlyMass transit reduces traffic congestion and pollution.
ReliabilityNounConsistency and dependabilityPublic transportation reliability is important for commuters.
Transit-oriented developmentNoun phrasePlanning that focuses on public transit access and developmentTransit-oriented development promotes walkability and public transportation use.
Public transportationNoun phraseSystem of buses, trains, and other vehicles used by the publicPublic transportation is often more cost-effective than private vehicles.

3. Sustainable Transportation Solutions

Word/PhraseTypeMeaningExample
Active transportationNoun phraseModes of travel powered by human energy, such as walking or cyclingActive transportation promotes physical activity and reduces emissions.
Bike-sharingNoun phraseSystem where bicycles are available for shared useBike-sharing programs promote sustainable urban mobility.
Car-free zonesNoun phraseAreas where private vehicles are not permittedCar-free zones improve air quality and reduce congestion.
ElectrificationNounConversion of vehicles or systems to use electric powerElectrification of public transit reduces carbon emissions.
Green infrastructureNoun phraseInfrastructure designed to improve environmental sustainabilityGreen infrastructure includes bike lanes and green spaces.
Hybrid vehiclesNoun phraseVehicles with both electric and combustion enginesHybrid vehicles offer a bridge to more sustainable transportation.
Pedestrian-friendlyAdjectiveDesigned to accommodate pedestrians and walkingPedestrian-friendly cities encourage walking and cycling.
Public transportationNoun phraseSystem of buses, trains, and other vehicles used by the publicPublic transportation is often more cost-effective than private vehicles.
Transit-oriented planningNoun phraseUrban planning focused on public transit accessibility and efficiencyTransit-oriented planning aims to reduce car dependency in cities.
Zero-emission vehiclesNoun phraseVehicles that produce no tailpipe emissionsZero-emission vehicles contribute to sustainable transportation.

Idioms for speaking

IdiomDefinitionExample
Catch the bus/train/flightTo board and travel on a bus, train, or airplane.“I need to leave early to catch the bus to work.”
Full speed aheadTo proceed at maximum speed or with full force.“With the green light, the driver went full speed ahead on the highway.”
Hit the roadTo begin a journey or set out on a trip, especially by car.“After breakfast, we hit the road to start our cross-country road trip.”
Off the beaten pathA location or route that is not well-known or frequently traveled.“We prefer to explore off the beaten path destinations to experience unique cultures.”
On the roadTraveling or journeying, especially by vehicle.“He’s constantly on the road for business trips.”
Road tripA journey or trip taken by car, often for leisure or exploration.“We’re planning a road trip along the coast for our summer vacation.”
Traffic jamA situation in which a large number of vehicles are unable to move or are moving very slowly.“We were stuck in a traffic jam for over an hour during rush hour.”
Take the wheelTo assume control or responsibility for driving a vehicle.“He’s tired; let’s switch drivers, and you can take the wheel.”
Watch the roadTo pay attention to driving and be cautious while on the road.“It’s important to watch the road and avoid distractions while driving.”

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Huyen Nguyen
Huyen Nguyen

Founder of Practice9, creator of IELTS with Huyen. Huyen has 10 years of experience with IELTS, overall 8.5.

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