Investment needed for networks

New report warns public transport investment needs an increase to avoid overcrowding

Australian cities need to increase investment in public transport networks to keep up an increasing demand for services, according to a recent report.

The State of Australian Cities report shows patronage on public transport has grown significantly over the last decade, with a rate of average annual growth of 2.4 per cent.

This far surpasses the average rate of population growth in capital cities which stands at 1.8 per cent.

It warns investment in Melbourne and Sydney’s public transport network should be increased to meet future demand, since patronage is growing at astonishing rates and overcrowding becomes an issue.

The report shows Melbourne has a much lower proportion of inner-suburb residents using public transport to access the city and inner-suburbs for work, compared to Sydney.

Only 35 per cent of inner-city Melbourne residents use public transport compared to 50 per cent of inner-city Sydney residents.

The report highlights investment in Perth and Brisbane has likely encouraged and accommodated increased patronage of public transport.

The report also found people tend to use public transport only if they work in the city or inner-suburbs, and if they work in the outer-suburbs they are much more likely to drive.

In Parramatta, New South Wales, for example, a huge 72 per cent commute by private vehicle.

Most journeys to work are by private vehicle In Australia’s regional cities, for example 85.1 per cent use private transport in Geelong in 2011.

The report also reveals residents in outer and middle suburbs have to travel much further for employment than they used to.

This is partially the result of factories closing on the outskirts, due to the decline of manufacturing industry in Australia.

At the same time, new offices are emerging and employing in the inner suburbs and CBD – in line with the current economic trend.

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