Bus over light rail

Australians in certain states would prefer more investment in bus over light rail, according to the latest Transport Opinion survey

Bus over light rail
Bus over light rail

October 15, 2013

South Australians and Queenslanders would prefer to see investment in buses over light rail, according to the latest quarterly national transport survey from the University of Sydney.

The quarterly Transport Opinion Survey (TOPS) asked respondents whether they would prefer public transport investment in light rail or bus rapid transit – both in a dedicated corridor away from other traffic.

Sixty-three per cent of respondents selected light rail while 29 per cent preferred bus rapid transport.

However, in Queensland and South Australia, respondents were more likely to consider it an attractive option for future investment.

Forty-one per cent of South Australians and 38 per cent of Queenslanders preferred bus over light rail – both states where bus rapid transit is readily available.

Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies Professor David Hensher says experience of bus rapid transit increases its attractiveness to customers.

"This is an important factor for governments to keep in mind when planning new public transport infrastructure," he says.

"A dedicated corridor for bus rapid transit could be a significantly cheaper and equally effective solution to congestion compared to light rail."

Forty-nine per cent of those surveyed saw public transport improvements as the highest priority transport issue in Australia.

TOPS also looked at attitudes towards transport and found that Australians are more confident about the prospects of improvement in local transport than they were in the previous quarter.

"Public transport is critical to the way in which our cities operate, so it is not surprising that people want to see it getting better," says Hensher.

"Public transport is the lifeblood of Australia’s cities, but its success in the future depends on convincing Australians to get out of their cars, and this will not happen if public transport is not improved."

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