EDITORIAL : Public transport and the childcare dilemma

By: Chris Smith

If I could get to work on time and get back to pick up the baby from childcare I would

If I could get to work on time and get back to pick up the baby from childcare I would use public transport every day, and I bet I wouldn’t be alone.

Many young families on two incomes, pushed further out into the suburbs, are limited by the hours of childcare.

We all need to be at a particular place at a particular time and there is limited flexibility when it comes to picking up your children. Reliable, fast and frequent public transport is the kind which would solve the situation.

As well as the above attributes, the cost of the transport would have to be relatively cheap. It is one of the fundamental issues which the public isn’t aware of, public transport is heavily subsidised by state governments. It actually does cost a lot to provide.

With record GST takings, surely the federal government will intervene and offer the states more money to fast track training of drivers, purchasing of busses and creation of seamless transport networks which could start to make a profit if we lifted the percentage of passenger numbers by as little as 10 percent and provided a service people would want to use everyday.

A fare model you could work on is whether it would be cheaper for four adults to carpool with maintenance, cost of fuel, parking and the vehicle for a particular round trip.

Four adults divided by the costs of the carpool vehicle should give you a formula which is cost effective for the individual and make it worth their while to use public transport on a regular basis.

The more people using the system, in theory, should make it cheaper to run.

One day soon people living in the burbs should feel secure enough to use public transport in a way where it benefits the environment, their back pockets and the kids they are running home to pick up.

Send through your comments, we would like to know what you think.

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