Should Government Provide Efficient Public Transport

Submitted By caroline159
Words: 1052
Pages: 5

In all Australian cities, there has been a significant growth in car travel in recent three decades (a total increase of 1,439,024 cars from 1976 to 2006), meanwhile, public transport’s market share has experienced a substantial decline (decreasing from 23% in 1976 to 15.2% in 2006) (Mees, Sorupia & Stone 2007, p6). Whether government should provide efficient public transport has been thrown into sharp focus. The first argument is that government should provide efficient public transport because of considerable benefits for its citizens. Furthermore, it can reduce pollution and congestion. At the same time, there is an opposite argument based on the increasing number of automobile owners. Moreover, automobiles are becoming ‘greener’ and this is of growing importance for the transportation business.

Arguments opposing the provision of efficient public transport by government focus on the increasing number of automobile owners, automobile becoming ‘greener’ and growing importance for transportation business and quite good air quality in Australian’s capital cities. Initially, there were almost 17.2million motor vehicles in Australian in 2013, increasing 2.6% compared with 2012 and per 1,000 Estimated Resident Population own 750 motor vehicles (ABS, 2013). In Melbourne, people who diver car to work had increased from 56.1% in 1976 to 72.6% in 2006, which represent that people reduce the dependence of public transport (Mees, Sorupia & Stone 2007, p5). Subsequently, automobile is becoming more environmentally friendly. Hensher (1998) stated that with the help of the technological innovation, such as minimum corporate fuel type mixes in new vehicle sales, automobile places great emphasis on containing and reducing local air pollution and greenhouse emissions, which refutes someone claimed public transport has a positive impact on environment. (Hensher 1998, p196). Moreover, the air quantity of Australian cities is relatively unpolluted. Hensher (1998) claimed that fine particles, CO and NOx will not exceed acceptable levels in the foreseeable future (Hensher 1998, p197). Last but not least, public transport can not satisfy the demand of transportation business market. In 1991, the Australian Road Research Board found that in terms of vehicle operating cost resources consumed in the Australian road transport sector, total $37.8bn spent in cities and $12.9bn and $5.5bn spent in business travel by car and light commercial truck respectively (Hensher 1998, p197). It is unlikely for public transport to serve this market. Therefore, increasing number of automobile owners, automobile becoming ‘greener’ and growing importance for transportation business and quite good air quality in Australian’s capital cities are the reasons for against providing efficient public transport.

On the other hand, there are arguments that support the government providing efficient public transport owing to the benefits to people and reduction in pollution and congestion. The first argument is that providing efficient public transport is beneficial for people. In the first of all, Buys and Miller (2011) illustrated that time-efficiency and convenience are considered as the greatest merits for public

transport for journey into cities (Buys & Miller 2011, p294). Especially, Public Transport and Information and Priority System (PTIPS) is being implemented in Sydney, NSW, which improve average bus speed and reduce the delay of late bus (Nelson & Mulley 2013, p302). Using public transport to work can enjoy the reading time and less stressful than sitting in traffic jam (Buys & Miller 2011, p294). Subsequently, both STEG and Hensher (2003, 1998) mentioned that it is safer to travel by public transport than car (STEG 2003, p28, Hensher 1998, p199). In Australian, the percentage of car casualties was 45.2% in 1998, however, the proportion of bus casualties took up 17% in 1998 (Hensher 1998, p198). Mohan and Tiwari (1999) also stated that the risk for an occupant