Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Driving a better future: why we need better public transport
Dignity Party MLC, Kelly Vincent says improving public transport would reduce the number of Adelaide workers who drive to work each day.
A recent report from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), highlights Adelaide’s reliance on the private vehicle for journeys to work, with 69% of workers choosing to drive (ABS 2011).
“It’s the highest in the nation. This car-dependence is adding unnecessarily to congestion on our roads. Adelaide drivers also seem less likely to offer someone a lift to work than Perth or Melbourne car drivers are. It is hoped that real-time arrival information provided by Adelaide Metro will increase public transport patronage, but further incentives to regular commuters are also needed,” said Ms Vincent.
“The Dignity Party would also like to see public transport fares quarantined from a price rise in June’s State Budget.
“Family budgets are already over stretched, and keeping costs as low as possible is one way to incentivise increased usage of public transport.
“Keeping fares as low as possible is a good start. Increasing the frequency of Adelaide Metro Go Zones after 6.30pm would allow city workers to shop in town and still catch a bus home at a reasonable hour.
“People with mobility needs are still waiting for a reliable, fully accessible bus fleet. It’s not good enough to have to let buses pass you by because you can’t get onto them. Bus accessibility is not only applicable to people with disabilities, but also older people, those using prams or shopping trolleys and so on.
“I am very pleased to see Adelaide Metro taking up a suggestion I made some time ago to issue commemorative Metro Cards to appeal to the tourist market, we also hope to see some that feature specific events, such as the Tour Down Under and WOMADelaide in the future.
“It will be interesting to see what the Census figures from 2016 reveal about travel to work statistics. If other states are getting it right, then we need to learn our lessons and catch up, not keep building more roads that will soon be congested, we need to change our habits,” said Ms Vincent.
“However, by far and away the greatest number of people in each city used a car (as either driver or passenger) to get to work. For example, Sydney recorded 1 200 506 people using a car to get to work in 2011, being 58 per cent of all employed people aged 15 or more living in that city. Even larger numbers are seen in Melbourne, where 1 249 345 workers (65%) used a car to get to work. In Brisbane (64%), Perth (67%) and Adelaide (69%) going by car to work was just as popular.”