EDITORIAL: Call for light vehicle pricing debate welcomed

By: Graham Gardiner


The call by National Transport Commission chief Nick Dimopoulos for a "healthy and informed policy debate" on reform of light

The call by National Transport Commission chief Nick Dimopoulos for a "healthy and informed policy debate" on reform of light vehicle pricing and public transport use should be welcomed by bus and coach operators.

Based on the experience of London, for example, some form of congestion charge on automobiles would significantly boost public transport patronage.

But such a move should not be contemplated without a commitment from governments that revenue raised goes directly into the infrastructure and services necessary to handle the resultant increase in demand.

The recent surge in public transport patronage, driven by dramatic increases in fuel costs, has already exposed a lack of capacity in the passenger transport system.

And such a debate also needs to take place as part of a broader discussion on a national public transport policy – that encourages governments to better integrate transport services and commit to minimum public transport service standards.

Better integrated land-use planning policies across all levels of governments, Dimopoulos rightly points out, are also needed to encourage high-density building development on selected corridors, while increasing public transport infrastructure capacity.

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