Public transport systems under funded: BIC

By: Jason Whittaker


The Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) is calling for urgent investment in the country’s public transport and infrastructure network to support

The Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) is calling for urgent investment in the country’s public transport and infrastructure network to support the burgeoning number of passengers switching from cars to buses.

Responding to a Senate inquiry into public passenger transport funding, BIC says the Federal Government must step up its involvement in public transport by supporting State and Local governments as a matter of urgency.

"…this submission shows a significant shortfall in capital investment in public transport systems by all levels of government at a time when public transport is experiencing sharp increases in patronage, and urban congestion and climate change threaten to choke the Australian economy," says BIC.

A lack of information about Australian public transport systems at operational and policy levels, within both Commonwealth and State administrations, is preventing governments from planning and developing adequate public transport systems, BIC says.

BIC recommended a range of measures targeted at reducing over-reliance on cars, including:
• improved fuel efficiency
• comprehensive road pricing - replacing existing charges with charges that better reflect the full costs associated with road travel, including congestion costs, accident costs, health costs, road damage, air pollution and noise
• more compact, walking and cycling friendly urban settlements.
• increased investment in public transport
• investment in rail freight and intermodal hubs
• freight efficiency improvements
• reallocation of road space to prioritise low emission modes
• behaviour change programs (e.g. Travel Smart).

The comments were made in a submission to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee Inquiry into the Investment of Commonwealth and State Funds in Public Passenger Transport Infrastructure and Services.

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