Public transport Articles in the Age
Today there are 2 articles in the age about the problem of congested roads and the possibility of public transport easing these issues.
There is no doubt that getting people out of their cars and into public transport is the answer, and will have many other benefits besides un-clogging our cities freeways, but this just won't happen until public transport is improved to a point where it is overwhelmingly cheaper and more convenient to use than a personal car.
We have a culture that (for better or worse) value personal control and the freedom to be spontaneous. People are NOT going to sell their cars, (although I did) as this is a serious restriction on the personal freedoms the car provides, but they may be convinced to use public transport to commute to work (or even for some weekend day trips) if the following conditions are met.
1. Travel on public transport is substantially cheaper than using the car.
2. The trip by public transport is quicker than the same trip by car.
3. They are reasonably close (walking distance) to a regular, reliable form of public transport that gives them the ability to get where they need to go. (Granted sometimes connections are necessary, but they need to be kept to a minimum, and they need to actually connect with very small waiting times). And
4. The public transport service doesn't cease before they want to come home. I know of people who would love to catch public transport to and from work, but because the only bus service that can get them home stops not long after 6:00 pm, they are forced to drive to work in case they are required to work back.
Some of our public transport system is reasonably good, I was able to sell my car, because I live in North Carlton, and work in Hawthorn, both of which a relatively well serviced by trams and trains. Other parts of Melbourne are not so lucky, and it is often impossible to work in around the public transport system to get to and from the places they need to be.
in his statement transport minister Peter Bachelor states "There is a difference between our plans and what the budget capacity is able to achieve". This is just ridiculous considering the amount of money slated for new freeways which will only make the traffic congestion problem worse. The solution is obvious, No more freeways, and re-direct that money into improving public transport.