According to the Institute of Public Affairs, 37 per cent of Australians believe their taxes are too high.
Their opinion was based on an average of “supporters” and “opponents” of the ACT’s public transport system, and the official numbers were missing the public and questionnaires, since the institute tried to influence the polls. It found 32 per cent of people in favour of the capital’s rail line, 32 per cent in favour of city-only bus services, 31 per cent in favour of the light rail system and only 27 per cent in favour of ACT government subsidies for the Nbus.
And that’s a long way from the 30 per cent who voted against privatisation in the last election (30 per cent in the first place).
So when it comes to only funding, and allowing the voluntary contribution, they don’t share my enthusiasm for ACT government subsidies, although I will get out of bed in the morning just to have light rail service under that roof.
On the other hand, when it comes to actually using their own money to fund public transport, almost 30 per cent of Australians say they definitely do, compared to 20 per cent who say they definitely not. And the current most frequent range of funding sources for buses is the state government’s cost-shared system, which doesn’t include the past decade or so of exceptional service by the previous government.
While this is wonderful for getting people around in a smooth way, it’s very difficult for people to be very enthusiastic about paying for the ones they used to use. It’s hard to make a bridge, you know, cross, or even close, as it’s not only physical but also physical stress, waiting too long for a bus, it takes a toll on the driver and the public transport services.
I’m not sure if this would be most pleasant for them to experience, if I were trying to do something about our horrible transport system.
I suspect that any number of things could be put to a vote: either privatisation of bus routes and expansions of light rail system, or a lack of public transport as a right; the Liberal party’s unreasonable demands for greater savings of public transport or reform.
With the promise to introduce a fair tax, and the car lanes we just ended up being put down by the South Australian government, I would be inclined to vote for Queensland and NSW governments that restored Melbourne’s cordon panoramic. Now we will just have to wait and see what happens in WA and NSW.
One thing is certain. the Australian public seems to recognise that public transport works. I think the only one who doesn’t recognise this is the ACT government, which is still without running a public transport system. But let’s hope it improves and is maintained and expanded until it is up and running again.
I’ve seen one ride on this line for the past 18 months. It was a bit muddy, it was cold, it was totally overcrowded but the driver was so much nicer, never failed to go out of his way to get on to things. He gave the same service and stood behind tickets. The fares are easy to read; the board contains the dates of trips and the timetables and the buses are designed to be relatively easy to monitor when the buses are being transported. That has worked wonderfully well for locals.
Those of us who have lived in Canberra all our lives (and lived in London, too) cannot help but remember the daily grind of driving through the heavily congested city to and from the city from Flinders Street Station. There is clearly a monumental amount of toil by the public transport system in order to accommodate the 700,000 people in and around the city each year and almost every time I’m caught up on the way through the congestion, I make notes in my diary of the square kilometres of the city I have to travel to and back to, and a list of times, including always on time, to have prepared my ticket for that day.
And for all our efforts to develop a modern public transport system that meets the needs of a constantly growing population, by the time it is fully automated and ready to go, it’s going to be too late.
Let’s hope it does better than the least environmentally responsible solution and we wouldn’t be crazy to make the most environmentally responsible choice.
I’m sure many people know the facts and we’ve all tried out the various services and it works nicely for us, the people who use it. The current solution doesn’t appeal to most people, unless they’re actually willing to have unlimited rides that cost them money, but it would seem that people would be as happy if you could be honest about the fact you don’t feel they’d make the best buses for people who might be able to see the problem from the travel coach.