Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Further Evidence for Public Transport Funding

It is quite clear that the number of people using Public Transport in Melbourne has increased a lot over the last few years. First there was the increase in the price of petrol that made teh use of PT more economical. Now as the GFC hits home and people are trying to save more cash there could be a second wave:

Hard times just the ticket for public transport

Clay Lucas
March 17, 2009
THE deteriorating economy is adding to Melbourne's public transport woes, with commuters boarding trains, trams and buses to save money.

A survey of 600 people by public transport marketing and information agency Metlink has found that 75 per cent of Melburnians are trying to save money because of worries over the economy. As a result, a third are looking to use public transport more to cut their budgets.

"Melburnians are tightening their budgets and many more are looking at public transport," said Bernie Carolan, chief executive of Metlink, which is funded by Connex, Yarra Trams and the bus industry.

Cutting costs was a key reason behind the boom in public transport use, he said. In 2008, passenger numbers on overcrowded trains, trams and buses grew by 11 per cent to 480 million trips — 48 million more than the year before.

The survey, taken last month, also found that 92 per cent wanted the Government to spend more on public transport.

Twenty per cent of Melburnians had reduced car use in the last six months. This was also reflected in VicRoads' recent Traffic Monitor report. It showed zero growth in road travel in metropolitan Melbourne from the previous year.

The State Government has proposed billions for public transport, but many of the large projects are still years away.

But it has committed billions to new road projects, including the $1.4 billion upgrade of the West Gate-Monash Freeway, which is already under way.

No suburban lines have been built since 1930, but the urban area has more than doubled.

Monash University transport expert Professor Graham Currie found last month that the Government's transport plan has, in its first four years, pledged $8.4 billion to expand roads and freight routes and $6.8 billion on regenerating public transport infrastructure.

Nothing earth shattering there. The one issue I have with the report is that there is no consideration to industry in what is being spent on road infrastructure. The upgrade of the Monash-Westgate corridor also allows for the ease of transport of freight throughout Melbourne, helping industry, not just commuters.

Of course it takes time to plan and to get projects up and running. No one can just click their fingers and get a major project started. It would be reckless to do so. Having said that, there are a number of projects that are well through the planning phase and can be 'pushed' to get hard works started earlier.


Anonymous said...

Good post.

dam buster said...

RVB - thanks for that. hopefully some budget announcements will be forth coming outlining where some of the money will be spent.

Reuben said...

Perhaps another upgrade to Kosky's office if we're lucky.