December 9, 2011
The latest data from the University of Sydney’s quarterly Transport Opinion Survey (TOPS) reveals Queensland residents were most confident that transport in their local area will be better in a year’s time.
About a third, or 31 percent, of Queenslanders surveyed say transport will improve in the next year, although half believe the improvements would come from upgrades to the road network, according to Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies Director David Hensher.
The rest of Australia backed rail as the key to public transport improvements in the year ahead, and that the call was to improve metro rail networks, rather than build inter-city high speed rail projects.
“High-speed rail between cities is important for Australia in the face of an increasing population, but people are more focused on what affects them day-to-day,” Hensher says.
He says support for rail within cities was highest amongst frequent public transport users, Victorian residents, and people living in capital cities.
Despite the optimism in Queensland, and the call to improve suburban rail systems, Hensher says more Australians think transport in their local area will be the same in a year’s time than in any quarter since the survey started in March 2010.
However, 46 percent of respondents took a longer term view saying transport would improve across Australia in the next five years.
Since the survey began, TOPS has kept turning up data which ranks public transport as a high priority across Australia.
“We will continue to monitor community confidence,” Hensher says.
The survey covers all modes of public transport, including air travel, where again Queenslanders showed a confident outlook.
Hensher says two thirds of survey participants believe the Qantas brand would eventually recover from damage caused by the airline’s recent grounding, and Queenslanders were most optimistic about the brand recovering, perhaps reflecting the airline’s origins.
The December 2011 quarterly TOPS report is available at http://sydney.edu.au/business/itls/tops