Here’s a handy chart from the new Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) report Australia’s Public Transport: Investment for a Clean Transport Future.
Of course, the ACF doesn’t want you driving, but taking the train, bus or ferry, or riding or walking instead. The ACF gives Queensland a big tick for investment in public transport, but notes more can be done, especially in our outer metropolitan areas:
Brisbane has also invested in urban rail and a Bus Rapid Transit system that is recognised as world class. This investment by State and local government has resulted in a doubling of bus passengers in the last 11 years. Seven-and-a-half additional lanes of highway would be needed if the South East Busway did not run. Train patronage has also grown in that time.
These public transport projects are helping to serve the rapidly expanding urban population. From satellite images one can see the massive development right down to the Gold Coast – once thriving rural areas are now a conurbation from Brisbane to the border. This spread of population without incorporation of alternatives to private vehicle mobility means it is going to be difficult for people to afford to get around by car when the price of petrol really starts to hurt. If there is to be a significant reduction in car dependency in South East Queensland, more public and active transport projects must be built.
The ACF is spot on we should invest more in public transport and active transport (i.e. cycling and walking) projects. They are a much better use of public funds than NRL stadiums, Commonwealth Games bids, regional parliamentary sittings, convention centres, etc.