In 1662 Blaise Pascal proposed a horse-drawn public bus which had a regular route, schedule, and fare system, which started its operations in 1663.
Early in the Industrial revolution, it was important for factories to be close to sources of power, and close to rivers and ports. With time, that changed.
Canals were extensions of rivers, waterproof channels that mostly followed contour lines and allowed goods to be moved in all weather with minimal breakages.
Canals were an effective way to move goods before rail and road, offering smooth travel, and a low-friction path, where a single horse could move large loads.
The steam turbine was a more compact and powerful unit, leaving more room for cargo, and moved the ship faster and more reliably, thus revolutionizing shipping.
The internal combustion engine is used in most mobile applications. It is inefficient and noisy, but highly convenient, and its fuel can be obtained anywhere.
This file is http://members.ozemail.com.au/~macinnis/scifun/splatstranstech.htm, first created on February 16, 2008. Last recorded revision (well I get lazy and forget sometimes!) was on February 16, 2008.