$10 billion to help fix public transport crisis say experts

By: Chris Smith

A group of public transport experts has called for a $10 billion investment from the Federal Government to help fix

A group of public transport experts has called for a $10 billion investment from the Federal Government to help fix public transport.

Executive Director Bus Industry Confederation, Michael Apps, says there is a dire need to invest in public transport infrustructure across major capitals and regional centres.

"Rising fuel prices, the cost of housing and the high levels of traffic congestion we see in our urban centres are driving people to public transport, which is fast reaching crisis point as demand outstrips the availability of services," Apps says.

"We have public transport systems at breaking point; State Governments can only do so much to meet demand.

"So far we’ve heard a lot of talk from the new Government about their commitment to addressing the problems of fuel prices, traffic congestion, and climate change, it’s time we see some action before it’s too late," he says.

The group identified housing pressure through increasing interest rates, the rising costs of living associated with food price increases, inflation and rising fuel prices as key elements in recent spikes in public transport patronage.

In their statement the group also highlighted recent research which showed public transport patronage had increased three percent across the country, with significantly faster increases in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

The group identified increased investment in public transport, greater use of alternative fuels and more fuel efficient vehicles as a three part strategy to reduce fuel demand and minimise the impact of fluctuations in fuel prices.

"What we need is an initial cash injection from State and Federal Governments, to get more buses on the road and more trains on the rail system, providing people with comfortable, frequent services and starting to build a public transport culture. This must be supported by substantially increased public transport infrastructure development," Apps says.

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