TTF poll released ahead of summit

People are content with public transport, and some would pay more to improve it

TTF poll released ahead of summit
Fast-moving Sydney hosts the 2016 Australian Transport Summit.

Ahead of the Australian Transport Summit, the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has released the results of a poll which shows Australians could be happier with their public transport systems.

Of the 1000 people surveyed, only 46 per cent rate public transport as above average, while 36 per cent rate it as being average.

Reassuringly, only 13 per cent of people rate public transport in their area as bad or very bad.

There should also be solace for the public transport industry in the number of people who think public transport has improved in recent years – 15 per cent say it has improved a lot, while 32 per cent say it has improved somewhat.

The TTF says Victorians and residents of New South Wales were more likely to rate their public transport as good or very good, but Queenslanders and Western Australians are less pleased with their systems.

TTF chief executive officer Margy Osmond says the survey gives the industry a good insight into what it could be doing better, and what is already working.

"This survey is a big tick for the work that Governments and transport operators have been doing to improve public transport in our major cities," she says.

"Public transport advocates such as TTF have been beating the drum for many years on the need to improve and invest in our public transport system.

"It has taken many years and there is still a long way to go but we are seeing significant improvements across the board."

Improvements such as electronic ticketing via smart cards is still being received overwhelmingly well, with 69 per cent of survey respondents saying they’re happy to continue using their cards.

A different kind of card payment could be on the horizon however, as increasing numbers of people – currently 33 per cent – say they’d like to swipe their bank card when they board.

Osmond says the Australian Transport Summit, being held in Sydney, will be a good platform to discuss new ways to improve Australian public transport.

"With the completed roll-out of electronic ticketing systems in our major cities, it’s now time for us to have that discussion about what the next steps are to make the experience of using public transport even better.

"The findings of our nationwide survey show that commuters are open minded about contributing to the cost of better public transport, but government needs to take the public into their confidence with a more transparent approach to fare policies which demonstrates value for money and the rationale behind fare increases."

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