Labor to invest $16m in Tassie public transport

By: Graham Gardiner

Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett has announced a $16 million, four-year investment as part of a long-term strategy to further improve

Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett has announced a $16 million, four-year investment as part of a long-term strategy to further improve passenger transport in the island state.

Launching the Urban Passenger Transport Framework, Bartlett says the money will start working for Tasmanians right away.

"$16 million for Metro Tasmania is our first down payment on revolutionising public transport and changing the way people perceive it," Bartlett says.

"This funding will enable the modernisation of the bus fleet, and the roll out of a program of initiatives aimed at increasing passenger numbers.

"This is about getting people to swap their car for the bus, by making public transport a more appealing option.

"By increasing comfort and safety, addressing the needs of specific groups like the elderly and the disabled, making trips quicker and providing better customer service and ticketing – we can encourage more people to take up public transport.

"The Labor Government has already significantly improved passenger transport in Tasmania with the Core Passenger Service Review and now we have a framework for 40 years of progressive policy.

"This will help guide how the Government invests in transport for generations, and this $16 million for Metro is one part of that thinking."

Bartlett says the funding will support initiatives including:

  • The development of a network of park-and-ride facilities with work well under way for Kingston
  • A ‘journey planner’ option using Google Transit and the downloading of timetables to mobile phones as part of improving customer information
  • A trial of service officers on buses to help passengers and provide advice
  • CCTV on buses to improve safety
  • Work on bus priority and bus pre-emption at traffic lights to shorten travel times
  • Purchasing new buses and a potential trial of hybrid buses
  • A major upgrade of off-road infrastructure, including new well-lit bus shelters, reflective signs and the trial of bikes on buses
  • Investigating the expansion of Greencard ticketing
  • Market research to identify factors which would lead to increased patronage.

"The decisions we make today about our transport system will determine how we are able to meet our travel needs in the future – for work, education, social and recreational opportunities," he says.

"The Tasmanian Urban Passenger Transport Framework recognises the critical relationship between urban planning and transport planning.

"It identifies the importance of strengthening our public transport system, but also looks at how the development of our residential areas and activity centres can assist in delivering good public transport options.

"The framework takes an integrated approach and describes key areas on which we need to focus in order to develop a better transport system for all Tasmanians."

Bartlett says the Government will establish an Urban Transport Advisory Group, bringing together both community stakeholders and experts in passenger transport services, to look at how the vision in the framework could be further developed.

"Strong and decisive economic management by Labor means we are now in a position to invest in crucial services such as public transport," he says.

"On March 20 Tasmanians will have a clear choice between a proven Labor Government that is investing in services and new jobs, or to risk a future with less teachers, doctors and nurses under the Liberals and Will Hodgman.

"Will Hodgman needs to finally come clean on what cuts he’s planning to make to meet his unfunded policies, or is he planning to send Tasmania back to the bad old days of Liberal Government debt?"

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook