Call to pump up congestion tax


Politicians need to show "political courage" and invest heavily in infrastructure and public transport, BusVic Executive Director Chris Lowe says

By David Goeldner | June 18, 2010

Federal and state politicians need to show "political courage" and invest heavily in infrastructure and public transport, BusVic Executive Director Chris Lowe says in the lead up to the 2010 BusVic Bus Maintenance Conference and Bus Expo.

"By getting cars off the road and increasing the frequency of buses we can alleviate congestion, reduce our dependence on oil, and conserve energy," he says.

Lowe says Victoria’s parking levy should morph into a fully-blown congestion tax if that state’s government is serious about getting cars off the road and provide a more efficient public transport system.

With elections to be held in Victoria and federally later this year, Lowe says now is the time to increase bus relevance and demonstrate how buses can be part of the solution.

"The bottom line is that we need to increase the frequency, safety and span of bus services," he says.

Lowe
adds that increased investment and more infrastructure is needed so public transport can become more relevant and quality of life for all Australians increased.

"Rather than have a bus come every 45 minutes it should be every 15 minutes, and yes it is a cost increase but will save the government money to tackle issues such as congestion," he says.

In Victoria, Lowes argues for an increase in recurrent expenditure to achieve these goals.

"In order to do all of this takes political courage," he says.

Chris Lowe will join Bus Industry Confederation Executive Director Michael Apps in delivering the ‘whole of industry’ reports at the closing session of this year’s BusVic conference.

Lowe encourages delegates to stay till the end when some "pearlers" will be laid on the conference table.

The 2010 BusVic Maintenance Conference and Bus Expo will be held at Moonee Valley racecourse, Melbourne, from June 28-29 .


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