The Community Wants Public Transport, Not Roads Says Transport Survey

Overcrowding on public transport is now a bigger issue for many than travel times or fares. Photo: Simon O'Dwyer

ALMOST two-thirds of Australians believe investment in public transport is more important than investment in roads, a survey has found.

In Victoria 63 per cent of people surveyed said investing in public transport was the highest priority, compared with 20 per cent who believed it was most important to invest in roads.

One thousand Australians in all states and territories were quizzed in the University of Sydney quarterly survey, which has monitored shifts in national attitudes to transport issues since 2010.

Transport is not held to be as important an issue as health, the economy or education, the survey found. Just 8 per cent of people said transport was the most important issue for Australia, although 51 per cent said improving public transport was the most important transport issue, compared with 27 per cent who nominated roads.

The survey also found that Victorians are the most dissatisfied with overcrowding on trains. Fifty-three per cent of Victorians surveyed said that train overcrowding in the peak was ”intolerable”, compared with 43 per cent nationwide. This compared with just 32 per cent in Queensland and 38 per cent in New South Wales.

Professor David Hensher, director of The University of Sydney’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, which conducts the surveys, said train overcrowding was now a bigger issue for many than travel times or fares, which politicians would do well to recognise.

”This sends a signal about the need to include level of crowding when considering new investment,” Professor Hensher said.

Adam Carey, The Age, September 26, 2012

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