Thursday, October 29, 2009

How to have free public transport - Adam Butler

No I’m not mad. Public Transport should be free. For the time being I will concentrate on rail. In NSW, only 22% of the running costs for rail comes from the travelling public. 53% already comes from taxpayers and the rest from other revenue like property rental, interest, access fees etc….On top of this, Railcorp recorded a surplus of $194M in 07/08. So to have free rail transport we only need to find the 22% received from passengers. Here’s how we can do it (and do it easily)....Adam Butler

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Free public transport advocate wins seat

[SamWainwright.jpg]Socialist Alliance WA co-convenor Sam Wainwright was elected from the Hilton Ward to the Fremantle Council in the October 17 poll. Wainwright was the candidate with the most votes, polling over 33% of the vote.

A socialist, unionist and community activist, Wainwright advocates for "free and expanded public transport" and for council to "fight climate change", workers' rights, and open spaces for all, and rates based on ability to pay.

For more details of Wainwright's campaign, visit:

From GreenLeft Weekly 17 Oct 2009.

Public law to save private beach property?

Australia is experiencing "accelerated climate change", resulting in more frequent storms, droughts and rising temperatures due to global warming, say scientists. This prompts beachfront home owners to attempt to fortify their properties against rising seas and storms, ...
..Some observers fear that the public value of the beaches will be destroyed by individual measures to protect properties.
It is estimated that over 700,000 coastal properties in Australia are threatened by rising sea levels. Coastal flooding and erosion cost New South Wales 200 million Australian dollars a year. UN Climate Change Conference

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Newcastle, NSW, two bus routes now fare-free

Inner-city “fare-free” beneficiaries (lucky travellers) now enjoy free travel from city to the fishermen’s co-op in Hannell St. (7:30am to 6pm) on bus routes 106 and 107. A “fantastic way to get around the inner city” said Minister for the Hunter and Member for Newcastle Jodi McKay, confiding the idea for the extension began in conversation with a local constituent. All good, no complaint, except … there’s a few hundred thousand other constituents with similar sentiments? Transports economists are known to advocate free public transport carte blanche and cite as powerful disincentives to train travel the complex ticketing and policing of fares, and float assertions unsettling to even pink governments that the cost of collecting fares exceeds revenue.
Throsby, for one, would seriously entertain either train or bus (he has a choice) on his commute from suburbia to urbia. It’s the hassle over fares (uncertainties born of unfamiliarity) that place the first barrier in his head. Why are fares retained? Even if generating net revenue, how full would trains and buses be if free? There’s only one way to find out. Gummint has a unwavering eye on transport privatisation, posit some. Private vehicle tollways are a growth industry, due in part to surveillance-age technology enabling investors to remotely pilfer citizens’ pockets, where once there we enjoyed unencumbered free passage. If corporations so effectively tax “free range” travellers, what a delightful investment fixed transport infrastructure will seem when a litre of petrol is a luxury. newcastleonhunter

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Free public transport is cheaper than auto-dependency

...Glazebrook estimated that the real cost to the community of Sydney’s reliance on private transport was more than $41 billion in 2006. About half of this was borne by the user — $18 billion was borne by the public.

Glazebrook puts the real cost of car use at 86 cents per passenger-kilometre, when all externalities are factored in. The real cost of train travel is only 47 cents for the same distance, said a study he published on March 19.

Replacing each passenger trip by car with train travel saves society almost half the resources and creates half the pollution. But how do we encourage people to make the switch?

In 1996, the Belgian city of Hasselt made public transport free. Between 1996 and 2006, usage of public transport increased by as much as 1300%.

In Sydney, making public transport free would cost the state government about $1 billion a year.GreenLeftAustralia