Still time to talk up transport - election update

There's still time to talk to your election candidate and send the bus transport message, says BIC

Still time to talk up transport - election update
Still time to talk up transport – election update

By David Goeldner | July 22, 2010

The bus industry’s national lobby group says operators and suppliers still have time to get the public transport message across to Federal election candidates.

BIC Executive Director Michael Apps says political parties should consider lack of services, particularly in outer metropolitan areas and regional areas where people are being forced into car ownership.

"This election has come at a time where we are seeing rising fuel prices, mortgage stress, and people forced into having two or three family cars," Apps says.

More Federal government involvement in supporting state infrastructure should be the key message, he says.

"The central government must get involved with working at state level in the context of infrastructure investment," Apps says.

"And that investment has to be contingent on the states ensuring that they’ve got their land use and transport planning in place."

He says Infrastructure Australia has committed a large amount to urban rail, but the next step is for each of the political parties to work towards integrating rail, bus, tram and ferry across the board.

"Beyond that I think the central government has got a role in making sure we’ve got new modern technology that provides a comfortable trip, and technology to deliver good environmental outcomes."

Apps is also concerned that the political debates are too centred on population size.

"We don’t necessarily have a population problem but a services problem," he says.

"When you look at our cities they’re no bigger than London, New York or Paris where there are efficient public transport systems.

"The services question is one we should be pushing as an industry to the candidates at this election."

He adds that once elected, public transport issues and ways to address them need to be ‘top of mind’ when ministers and members are considering government policies and programs.

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