Investment key to PT

Survey shows investment in supporting infrastructure is needed to up public transport use

Investment key to PT
Griffith University associate professor and fellow of the Urban Research Program Matthew Burke speaks about the barriers to more Australians using public transport

A lack of appropriate infrastructure is holding Australia back from meeting its public transport potential.

Parliamentary Friendship Group for Better Cities had its national survey launch on Australian’s attitudes to active transport in Canberra this week.

Griffith University associate professor and fellow of the Urban Research Program Matthew Burke was the guest speaker and the event was attended by about 100 people; a mix of MPs, senators and public transport industry representatives.

The National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Cycling Promotion Fund conducted the online survey of more than 1000 Australians aged 25 to 59 in May.

The 2015 Investment in Active Transport Survey gauged views on cycling, walking, public transport and the barriers against greater use.

The results revealed at the event showed close to two in three children are driven to and from school with safety concerns and lack of infrastructure said to be at blame.

More than one in two people would cycle or walk to public transport if infrastructure was improved.

One in five people use public transport to get to work in the major cities, but 18 per cent say they never use public transport.

Cycling infrastructure to public transport was rated poorly, with close to one in three saying bike storage facilities and bike paths to public transport were being inadequate.

Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) executive director Michael Apps attended and says he is hopeful the Federal Government will take notice and realise that infrastructure investment is vital to encourage public transport use.

"BIC is not surprised by the finding of this survey," he says.

"It just reinforces that if you can get the infrastructure right, more people are likely to use public transport.

"This sends a clear message to the Federal Government that there are simple things they can do to make public transport a more viable option for people.

"People are cycling to the bus stop and the facilities to either lock up your bike securely or take the bike with you, is essential.

"It also comes back to simple investments, such as making sure the streets are well-lit.

"These things can make all the difference when it comes to people choosing whether to use public transport or not."

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