Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunshine Coast Free Holiday Buses

Sunshine Coast Free Holiday Buses: "This Christmas / New Year period, council is providing free public transport on the Sunshine Coast from 26 December 2010 to 9 January 2011.

Council is continuing the initiative following last year's highly successful Free Holiday Buses Program.

This year, in addition to the Noosa services and the Maroochydore to Caloundra route 600, council is extending the program to include the entire Sunshine Coast region."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alienating Ourselves

Alienating Ourselves
We alienate ourselves through the language we use; moralistic judgements and denial of responsibility are forms of alienating communication that can result in anger, violence and poor outcomes. If we are to achieve change we must become aware about how the language we use affects those we are trying to convince.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Do not worry -- we will continue the struggle

'Fed up' NSW Labor MP quits
Mr Gibson says the party can still win the next election if it focuses on public transport.
"It's up to the Labor Party whether they pursue those ideals," he said.
"I've talked about public transport for probably 20 years. Free public transport: it's nothing new, it's in many cities of the world today, it'd be a winner here."
A colleague of Mr Gibson, Wollongong MP Noreen Hay, says he will be missed.
"I think Paul has been a great contribution here in the parliament," she said.
The former rugby league first grade player had been threatening to stand as an independent if pushed to resign.
The Nationals leader Andrew Stoner wants to know why he is apparently going quietly.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sunshine Coast - 15 days of Free Public Transport at year-end

This Christmas / New Year period, council is providing free public transport on the Sunshine Coast from 26 December 2010 to 9 January 2011. Council is continuing the initiative following last year's highly successful Free Holiday Buses program.

This year, in addition to the Noosa services and the Maroochydore to Caloundra route 600, council is extending the program to include the entire Sunshine Coast region.
Bus Australia

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mt Waverley - Candidate for free public transport

Public safety a concern for Mt Waverley - Election 2010 - News - Waverley Leader: "PUBLIC transport is the most important issue facing Mt Waverley voters, followed by safety, planning, climate change, and the rising cost of living, state election candidates indicate.

All four candidates announced so far named public transport as an issue, with Democratic Labor Party candidate Des Kelly stating his party’s position was for free public transport.

“Public transport should be operated as a service, not a business,” Mr Kelly said."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Free public transport necessary to ease congestion

Sydney, Oct. 22 Xinhua (Xinhua Jiang Yaping) major cities in the face of growing traffic congestion, an Australian expert advice, free public transportation can be taken simultaneously to charge tolls for private cars of measures to alleviate traffic.

University of Sydney, Australia Professor, Institute of Transport and Logistics John Stanley issued a report that a city to improve urban public transport there are many solutions to the situation, including in non-peak free and allowing people to use public transport, as well as private car drivers entering the city levied tolls to subsidize public transportation.

Stanley believes that private car drivers to road use fee is imposed urban traffic congestion management an effective approach. It was rush hour should be higher than the non-peak road fee collection.

According to statistics, every major Australian city growth rate of private cars more than population growth. Australia this year because of traffic jams caused economic losses estimated as high as 100 million Australian dollars (about 9.8 billion U.S. dollars) by 2020 this figure will increase to 200 billion Australian fear (about 19.6 billion U.S. dollars).
Google Translate from:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Foreign corporations devastating Papua New Guinea rainforests

Foreign corporations devastating Papua New Guinea rainforests: "A letter in Nature from seven top scientists warns that Papua New Guinea will lose all of its accessible forest in just ten to twenty years if swift action isn't taken. A potent mix of poor governance, corruption, and corporate disregard is leading to the rapid loss of Papua New Guinea's much-heralded rainforests, home to a vast array of species found no-where else in the world."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Extreme drought across most of Earth by 2060 | COSMOS magazine

Extreme drought across most of Earth by 2060 | COSMOS magazine: "WASHINGTON: Large swathes of the planet could experience extreme drought within the next 30 years unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut, according to a study released this week."

Monday, October 18, 2010

The limits to energy efficiency | Green Left Weekly

The limits to energy efficiency | Green Left Weekly: "However, strong evidence has emerged that new energy efficient technologies alone won’t do much to cut emissions.

Indeed, in a capitalist economy, it’s very likely that energy efficiency gains will lead to higher energy use, not less."
This is Jevons' economic principle. "All things equal, making something more efficient means more usage." We need solutions that change the basic economics. Transport is a system. Systems have tipping points. The auto-system is heavily subsidized and very wasteful. If we increase energy supply the auto-system will consume it. We must first reach a tipping point against the auto. Then the auto subsidies will be seen to be burdensome instead of necessary. The way to do it is free public transport.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Facebook (1) | Critical Climate - Making business as usual too expensive.

Facebook (1) | Critical Climate - Making business as usual too expensive.: "Critical Climate - Making business as usual too expensive. Less than 2% of the $6 billion energy & transport subsidies for big business could replace Adelaide Metro’s fare revenue for an entire year. A bit more could start to seriously improve the system.

Apart from increasing public transport patronage, free public transport would also reduce the cost of living for the poorest people in our society.The government is already taking their money and giving it to corporations. There's no doubt people would prefer that money was used to pay for public services which could help save the planet.

Planet Before Profits! Free, Frequent, Accessible Public Transport Now!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Free Public Transport � Adam Butler

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)."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Do not leave public transport up to the "free" market

And we build all of this infrastructure with public money (possibly deficit spending) because, for a number of reasons – from the unsustainability of growth on the roads, to the finite nature of the world’s oil supply, to tackling climate change – it’s imperative that we encourage people out of their cars and onto our trains and trams. Public transport is a natural monopoly; it’s not something we can leave up to the wondrous “free market”. As the last thirty years have demonstrated. So we fund it through our taxes, as an important public service.

And there’s no need to punish the poorest Victorians, concession-card holders, in order to do it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free public transport will save money on roads

I think we should make public transport free. This has worked wonders in a number of European cities where the use of P/T increased 10 fold and big savings were made on maintaining roads as people were leaving their cars at home. For this idea to work in Canberra, to start with we would need adequate services for commuters to work and school (as a resident of West Belconnen I think the ACTION service is appalling).

How could you pay for this? There would be savings on road maintenance and less necessity for building new roads. Raising rates to cover the shortfall would also be a motivator, as people know that they are already paying for the service.
bytetime commenting on Canberra2030.org.au

Friday, September 10, 2010

Climate deniers are paid killers, people are dying right now from climate change

Yes, man-made climate change denial is about politics, but it’s more pragmatic than ideological. The politics have been shaped around the demands of industrial lobby groups, which happen, in many cases, to fund those who articulate them. Right-wingers are making monkeys of themselves over climate change not just because their beliefs take precedence over the evidence, but also because their interests take precedence over their beliefs. George Monbiot

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Adelaide: New free tram service a success -- will be made permanent.

TRAM travel between Adelaide's Entertainment Centre and the city will always be free, the South Australian government says.

Premier Mike Rann says the service has been a "terrific success'' since it started carrying passengers in March.

The government had planned to offer free travel for just six months on the $100 million extension, which runs from the western end of the city's North Terrace to the Entertainment Centre.

The new service was inspiring more people to use public transport, the premier said at Sunday's official opening of the route.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rally 4 Free Public Transport! Planet B4 Profits!

Having free, frequent and accessible public transport will increase the amount of people using it and we already spend way more money than we would need to do it on stupid things like locking up refugees (we're still the only 1st world country that does that), invading Iraq & Afghanistan and supporting the 'War on Terror' or just giving it to big business. Just 2% of the $6 billion energy & transport subsidies for big business could replace Adelaide Metro’s fare revenue for an entire year.

Protest 2pm Sat Oct 30 @ Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide.

Download a PDF of the above leaflet in A4 or A6 and start getting the word out!

Plus, join our Facebook event

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Free Public Transport -- to fight hypocrisy!

NOw if public transport was free, would more people use it? The government should make it free to cut down on pollution and accidents.

For us, with 5 children it costs more to use PT than it does to drive. I think that's rididculous.

Sure the money they make from it will be lost, but so what? We are supposed to be 'saving the world' with all these meetings and crap they do that never seem to reach conclusions and I'm sure cost a fortune to set up and attend.

I am so sick of people driving their petrol fueled cars to electricity sucking shopping centres and buying over packaged, over processed items and then saying 'Oh, no' to a plastic bag like they're doing their bit. It's hypocritical and quite frankly hilarious.

People won't give up their cars, they won't give up all the convenience and ease, we all waste and use and moan about pollution and global warming. But there is just never a big big effort made, a big step forward. Like making PT free or restricitng car use, offering incentives for those who use their cars little. PSAs about car use, the dangers of overcrowded roads and pollution.

Oh well, we will continue on our hypocritical ways forever I am sure, I often wonder how the world will be when fossil fules run out, I imagine it will be a nicer place! autumntree on essentialbaby forum

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Govt plans to divert solar money to auto subsidy

If re-elected, the Government says it will offer owners of pre-1995 vehicles a $2,000 rebate for upgrading to more fuel efficient cars.

But solar energy advocates, the Greens and the Coalition have slammed the proposal, as more than half of the funding for it will be taken from the Government's solar infrastructure program. ABC

Monday, July 19, 2010

Humans extinct in 100 years - Frank Fenner

Fenner said that climate change is only at its beginning, but is likely to be the cause of our extinction. “We’ll undergo the same fate as the people on Easter Island,” he said. More people means fewer resources, and Fenner predicts “there will be a lot more wars over food.”
Easter Island is famous for its massive stone statues. Polynesian people settled there, in what was then a pristine tropical island, around the middle of the first millennium AD. The population grew slowly at first and then exploded. As the population grew the forests were wiped out and all the tree animals became extinct, both with devastating consequences. After about 1600 the civilization began to collapse, and had virtually disappeared by the mid-19th century. Evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond said the parallels between what happened on Easter Island and what is occurring today on the planet as a whole are “chillingly obvious.”
The Tech Journal

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When you are in a hole --- Stop digging!

Oz turns to oceans for drinking water | World | News | Toronto Sun: "By 2012, when the last plant is scheduled to be up and running, Australia's big cities will get 30% of their water from the oceans, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The government says Australia's latest decade-long drought was largely caused by climate change and one official called the $13-billion desalination programme 'the cost of adapting to climate change.'
But critics of the massive infrastructure scheme say desalination will increase climate change because of the large quantities of energy it requires and other, cheaper measures — such as stricter conservation, a better grid supply system and even more efficient washing machines — can easily make Australia's existing water supplies stretch farther."

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lifehacker’s Free Public Transport Guide, 2010 Edition

By Angus Kidman on July 5, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Public transport is generally cheaper than jumping in a car, but in capital cities, you can often get around the CBD without paying at all. Here’s the options for free buses and trams across Australia’s major cities.

Free bus services are often designed to appeal to tourists, which explains why they’re largely found in the middle of major cities. However, whether you’re a visitor to town or a seasoned local, they can be a useful option for getting around, especially in inclement weather. The main restriction is that many don’t operate outside of standard business hours; if you’re looking for a late night solution, you’re going to end up paying almost everywhere (except Adelaide and Perth).

We published a similar guide last year; we’ve updated this one to incorporate reader comments and new options. Combined with our airport transfers guide, you can enjoy a visit to any of Australia’s major cities at minimal fiscal and environmental cost. Click on the links for access to the relevant timetables and route information.

The 555 bus runs in a loop in both directions between Circular Quay and Central Station. The frequency is pretty good — once every 10 minutes. On weekdays, it runs from 9:30am to 3:30pm (extended to 9:00pm on Thursdays). On weekends, it operates from 9:30am to 6:00pm.

The City Circle Tram is Melbourne’s most visible free option, running every 12 minutes around the outer edge of the Melbourne CBD (both clockwise and anti-clockwise). It runs between 10:00am and 6:00pm Sunday to Wednesday, and 10:00am to 9:00pm Thursday to Saturday. The City Tourist Shuttle bus offers more access to tourist destinations, but is less frequent and slower. It runs every 30 minutes, takes 90 minutes to do a full loop, and operates between 9:30am and 4:30pm daily.

Brisbane offers two loop buses, one for CBD covering the main area of the city and one for Spring Hill. The CBD loop runs 07:00am to 6:00pm , with departures every 15 minutes. Spring Hill runs from 08:16am to 6:00pm, with departures every 10 minutes. Annoyingly, neither service runs on weekends or public holidays.

Perth remains the champion city for free public transport, with three free loop buses as well as free use of all transit services (trains and buses) within the CBD area bounded by City West and Claisebrook. There’s a map of the Free Transit Zone and a slightly onerous list of conditions on the Transperth site.

If you’re worried about overstepping the boundaries with that option, there are also three free CAT bus services which operate entirely within the free CBD area: the east-west Red and Yellow services, and the North-South Blue service. Services generally operate from around 07:00am to 06:00pm on weekdays, with frequencies of roughly once every seven minutes. Weekends have later starting times and lower frequencies. As well, there are free CAT buses which operate in Freemantle and Joondalup (though the latter don’t run on weekends). Full details for all the services are on the CAT information page

The iconic Glenelg tram is free between North and South Terrace within the city, and along Jetty Road within Glenelg. It runs every 7 or so minutes between 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday, every 15 minutes between 09:00am and 6:00pm Saturdays and Sundays, and every 20 minutes at other times.

If you’d prefer a bus, the 99C runs a loop across the northern half of the CBD from 08:00am to 09:00pm, with services every 15 minutes until 06:00pm and additional services on Friday nights. Weekend services run every 30 minutes. Adelaide City Council operates the Adelaide Connector service, which covers a wider area (incorporating North Adelaide as well) but with only one bus an hour.

The Fare Free Bus scheme allows free travel on any government bus between 07:30am and 6:00pm every day.

Know of a free transport option we’ve missed? Share it in the comments.

Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman will always take the free bus, thanks. His Road Worrier column, looking at technology and organising tips for travellers, appears each week on Lifehacker.


Free transport and electricity until December.

Free transport and electricity until December.: "The Ministry of Finance expects to make a final decision regarding the provision of permanent free public transport before the end of this year."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Expand Free Transit Zone - not free car parks

We need new public transport initiatives for sustainability and to revitalise our city (Fremantle)

The June 12 Herald newsclips briefly reported on council's decision to explore the possibility of making the whole city a Free Transit Zone. It's worth explaining the thinking behind this.

Everyone agrees that we need to revitalise the heart of Freo and make it a real hub of commercial, social and community life. However we are never going to be able to do this by offering the acres of free parking you find at Garden City. Instead we need to improve public transport and cycling facilities and services.

The problem with the FreoStar was that it was simply too infrequent to be a viable option for the majority of people in the areas it served. Council will never have the resources to be a serious stand alone public transport operator. This is the responsibility of the state government.

However what council can and should do is seek to build on and facilitate better Transperth services. Already we are identifying and prioritising light rail transit corridors in an effort to encourage the state government to commit to a really serious step up in public transport for our region.

The idea with the Free Transit Zone is that all residents in the city be issued with a Transperth 'SmartRider' card programmed to allow free travel within the city. You'd hope this would stimulate more bus travel and in turn the demand for Transperth to improve its services, particularly to our poorly served suburbs such as Samson.

Unlike subsidising services to only particular suburbs, a Free Transit Zone would be a more equitable way for council to spend the money. If for whatever reason this is not possible, new CAT services to suburbs not serviced by the existing routes might also be an option.

Sam Wainwright, Socialist councillor,

Friday, June 18, 2010

Empire strikes back -- kills free transport plan

'They'd clog up public transport'
June 18, 2010 - 6:47AM
A Liberal Party election promise for free round-the-clock public transport for seniors and the disabled has been shelved, with Premier Colin Barnett saying it would be environmentally unwise.

The government rolled out an off-peak scheme after being elected, which has seen about 7 million trips taken in the first year of operation.... WA Today

Monday, June 14, 2010

Free bus travel on Sundays

PASSENGERS can now travel free on Bendigo Transit buses on the first Sunday of each month throughout winter.

State Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula said the Car-less Sunday promotion allowed bus users to trial the network, something he hopes they will continue to use after the promotional period.

“Buses provide an essential transport service in Bendigo, providing crucial access to work, school, recreational facilities, healthcare services and retailers,’’ Mr Pakula said.

“There are some two million passenger trips on the Bendigo Transit network each year and we need to ensure we provide bus services that cater to passenger needs.’’

Car-less Sunday is a feature of the Bendigo City Centre TravelSmart Travel Plan, which aims to reduce the number of single-occupant car trips, increase the number of active travel trips and reinforce the city centre as a place to work, shop and visit Bendigo residents and visitors will receive free local bus travel on the first Sunday of the month until November, and on each Sunday in December.

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said the government had continued to invest in the bus network with 692 weekly services added in the past two years.

”This was the biggest bus service improvement delivered to Bendigo in more than 15 years and is servicing the outer growth areas of Bendigo as well as existing suburbs and the central retail precinct,’’ the member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, said.

“These improvements have resulted in an increase in patronage of 20 per cent, a clear endorsement of the Bendigo Transit system.’’ Mr Pakula said the growth in patronage of the Bendigo bus network would be monitored regularly.

“We’re constantly monitoring how well those services are running and seeing if they can be finetuned,’’ he said.

“That includes reassessing timetables and connections with trains and initiating discussions about service needs.’’

Bendigo Advertiser 14 June 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The auto drains valuable resources - Frank Fisher

...our approaches to resolving Australia’s urban transport difficulties are piecemeal and that what limited success we have (notably in Perth) arose from the remarkable generalising influence of an outsider, environmental scientist, Prof. Peter Newman. So far however, the successes have not involved any large scale inroads into the use of the private urban commuter vehicle, or DODO, as Australia’s primary means for urban commuting let alone into the use of trucks instead of trains for goods transport. The DODO or Driver Only Driver Owned commuter car exercises its seductive hold over urban commutation through its very dedication to a single person. In the first instance it does it by privatising ownership to its (owner-)driver which secures and ensures his/her continuous access to it. The apparent freedoms provided by that dedication, by the widely accessible monetary resources to secure (owner-)dedication and by the equally widespread (if nowadays wilfull) ignorance to the planetary consequences of DODOs, are among the many difficult binds we must unpick in the effort to wean ourselves off default use of DODOs for all transport duties.

Currently the dedication to the DODO accounts for something like a third of all our energy use. In saying this i am including the energy costs of building, maintaining, monitoring and deconstructing the motor car and all its supporting infrastructures. These costs cover such diverse activities as a good proportion of hospital emergency activities, a significant proportion of government bureaucracies, one part of which will be the defence forces dedicated to maintaining oil supply lines and another being provision of foreign relations services to facilitate them. Were we to attempt to cover all the energy costs of the car and its supporting infrastructures, we would need to offset the energy demands of rectifying environment and human health damage inflicted by its many-faceted emissions only one of which is CO2! Other emissions from its operation are a variety of noxious gases, particulates, heat, vibration, noise … . Beyond its operational environmental costs are the pollution implications associated with driving its infrastructures, their construction and all their supporting infrastructures in turn. To make good these extensive and comprehensive environmental damages would likely take more energy than we currently use for everything. Taking implications such as these into consideration implies an operational efficiency in moving that Driver very close to zero. On top of this, governments desperate to reduce their fossil fuel dependency are now beginning to support fuelling this process from foodstuffs (corn, sugar, canola …) forcing up the price of foodstuffs. The use of foodstuffs to drive DODOs moves us way beyond the inefficiencies in using grain for feed lot beef because a far smaller proportion of the fuel provided to a car (<1%[ii]) actually goes to move its driver, than goes to “fuel” a grain fed steer’s production of meatIf grain-fed beef is a reprehensible use of grain, how much less acceptable are grain-fed DODOs?...
Read the whole document

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Frequent, Free, and Popular

It’s frequent and it’s free.
Since it began two years ago, more than two million passengers have been using the hugely popular Central Business District (CBD) Shuttle Bus to get them across town. Tourists, elderly people, shoppers, young people and office workers are taking advantage of the free ride.
The New South Wales (NSW) Government’s Free CBD Shuttle Bus has been so popular since it started its route in December 2008 that around 3,500 people a day have been riding the free public transport to travel in and around Sydney’s CBD. AustraliaForum

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We need public transit - not more roads

Commenting on secret government documents released through the NSW Upper House Greens MP and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called on the NSW government to scrap city motorway upgrade plans and fast track public transport projects. Read more...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We have another candidate!

Free Public Transport Advocate Adam Butler in the race for Reid, NSW

I don’t know who said that but I think it sums up many things. “Be the change you want to see” is what Ghandi said. But you can’t do that unless you choose to do it. It’s the same with your choices on election day. If you want to see genuine progress in our community then you need to start making choices that allows genuine progress.

As I see it, the two old political parties have had ample opportunity to move our community toward genuine progress (decades in fact). They have failed. Both the Howard era and now the Rudd era have been a step backwards from genuine progress. By genuine progress I mean improvements in an individual’s health, education and safety. But genuine progress also means including our natural environment. For you see, we live in a society not an economy yet so many of the decisions made in Canberra are made based on financial implications rather than societal ramifications.

Under Howard our homes got bigger (we have the largest homes in the world) and our waistlines got bigger (we are one of the fattest nations in the world). Yet as a society we aren’t any happier. The change to the Rudd government in 2007 was met with great anticipation. The greatest moral and economical challenge of our time (climate change) has now become not so important. In an essay for The Monthly entitled “Faith in Politics”, Kevin Rudd said this about refugees, “The parable of the Good Samaritan is but one of many which deal with the matter of how we should respond to a vulnerable stranger in our midst.” Soon after he said “I make absolutely no apology whatsoever for taking a tough line on asylum seekers.” Aren’t we fed up with this kind of hypocrisy?

The Australia Government continues to spend billions of dollars on the “war on terror” when that money should be used on education, health and public transport. Massive defence spending does not contribute to genuine progress but investing in our people certainly does.

I ask you, what shall it be? More of last century’s thinking by the old parties or a new tact by a young and enthusiastic party wanting a positive and genuinely prosperous future.

When you are standing in that polling booth you will be faced with a choice. It is only when you exercise your right to choose that you can also exercise your right to change. AdamButler

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Zero-fare Public Transport - EcoForum

There are a number of towns and cities across the world which offer free public transport at the time of boarding. This is sometimes called Zero-fare public transport.

Funding for public tranport is instead allocated from taxes. This enables faster, more efficient rides due to the lack of ticketing and allows for more regular services and routes to be added.

Several studies show that the number of people using public transport after it is made free soars, which is great for the environment and for the living standards of our cities, streets, and neighbourhoods.

Because taxes support the system instead, the quality of the public transport is not reduced and because the number of cars on the roads is reduced, the public have clearer, less noisy air and a greater feeling of community.

This is needed in Sydney - where there is the craziest bus system, that certain buses are cashless - no ticket no ride - not too good for tourists visiting the city EcoForum

Monday, April 12, 2010

More Millions to be Wasted on a Ticketing System

The NSW State Government just doesn't get it. They seem to think that it is OK to spend millions of dollars on a TICKETING SYSTEM. One that will not attract more customers or increase the capacity of the transport network. Read more here....

Relieving the state of the burdens associated with running a user-pays system by having free public transport will see us more forward in leaps and bounds....if only they'd get their hands out of their pockets and open their eyes.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Another Free Public Transport Candidate

Residents also want a representative who will fight to stop a tunnel and freeways as a solution to the transport chaos every rush-hour. We need free, expanded and integrated public transport to get people out of cars and also to protect the environment. Socialist Party Australia

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Carbon trading could lead to forest destruction

The United Nations guideline only defines trees (as carbon absorbers) based on high, without any detail of the species. Therefore, he argued that the proposal will allow Indonesia to receive more benefits from REDD based on the expansion of green areas.

However, this reason in fact sounds funny. The basic paradigm of REDD is avoiding deforestation. The incentives of this scheme are based on the ability of a country to avoid deforestation from its natural forest. Donors are not stupid and do not facilitate funding for areas that are not naturally forested. It seems to be that the Indonesian government would like to receive double benefits from oil palm: the investment on plantation development as well as REDD compensation from its status as trees. Are they joking?

This is actually the reason why we should not think REDD is identical to carbon trading. If REDD is identical to carbon trade, and forests are only perceived as carbon capturers, this mechanism is dangerous. Forest rehabilitation will not consider forest as integrated ecosystems and the importance of biodiversity will be neglected.... The Jakarta Post Yansen , Queensland Fri, 03/19/2010 11:09 AM Opinion

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Free Transport for All

I recently had a "letter to the editor" published in the local newspaper (Inner West Courier) in Sydney. Follow the link in the title if you are unable to read the small font below:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Public Transport Bandwagon

In Sydney, over the last few months, something has been built. It isn’t something you can touch or something you can see, but nevertheless it now exists. It is the Public Transport Bandwagon. More and more influential people are starting to get on board the bandwagon and the media are even starting to look forward (for a change). Read More.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Free Public Transit a solution to crowds and violence

Providing free public transport for people leaving clubs late at night could help prevent alcohol-related violence, an inquiry has heard.
Clubs Queensland chief executive Doug Flockhart said a common sense approach was needed to stem violence, not new regulations and laws.
Mr Flockhart said governments and councils needed to treat each night of operation in entertainment precincts as a special event.
He said special events such as football matches involved free transport and other amenities....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Zero-Fare Public Transport for Canberra

This is a proposal for improving public transport in the ACT that will result in a dramatic increase in public transport usage. Canberra could become the largest city in the world demonstrating this approach to environmentally responsible public transport.

The bottom-line cost to the ACT government should be minimal over ten years. There will be some up-front capital cost for larger or additional ACTION buses, to cope with increased patronage, and possibly some redeployment costs for redundant ACTION staff. These up-front capital costs would be much less than the capital cost of a light-rail service and other planned road improvements. ACTION's operating subsidy may need a small increase. However, the bottom-line for the ACT community as a whole would be a real saving.

Only about 20% of ACTION's gross revenue comes from fares (see ACTION's Annual Reports) and a large proportion of this is spent collecting the fares. Taxpayers already contribute about $1m a week to support ACTION. I therefore propose that the payment of all bus fares be eliminated, making public transport fare-free for users. Economists argue that this will result in overuse but the many advantages of this proposal include:

  1. Bus services will operate faster point-to-point and will be on time, because stops (dwell time) would be only momentary (with no time lost in fare collection) and because all doors can be used for entry and exit at every stop. These improvements have been demonstrated in places like inner-Perth, London, Zurich and Geneva, where tickets are not sold onboard the buses.
  2. Safety will improve once the bus driver is not distracted by collecting fares and can give undivided attention to driving the bus.
  3. Drivers can be more physically isolated from the passengers, making bus driving a safer and more attractive occupation, particularly at night. In addition, with no cash on board, there would be no motive for robbery.
  4. ACTION staffing flexibility and efficiency improves once drivers can changeover at any point on the network – once again, because they are not carrying cash.
  5. Potential passengers could no longer (incorrectly) argue that driving to work costs them about the same as catching the bus. Many families would no longer need a second car, a huge saving.
  6. There would be substantial ACTION operating economies without tickets, student passes, ticket validation machines, ticket inspectors, sales outlet commissions, most of ACTION's accounting staff, armoured car services, driver lost time for cash counting and reconciliation, etc. As a result, the ACT government's current subsidy, of $1m a week, should be sufficient to operate the new "free" service at the present patronage level.
  7. Increased patronage would eliminate the need to build more capacity into our road network for at least ten years. These savings would pay for a larger ACTION bus fleet and the retraining of surplus staff to accommodate the increase in passengers.
  8. There would be no need to build new public car parking for about ten years.
  9. Commercial and other vehicles would be less delayed by traffic congestion, reducing their operating costs.
  10. Future bus driver recruits would not need to be trained to handle cash and need not be paid a premium pay rate for this task. This simplified workload would attract more applicants for bus driver jobs.
  11. On trunk routes, the resulting high frequency of buses would make timetables unnecessary, a strategy which has been found in Toronto to greatly increase patronage. The reduced cost of timetables and their associated staffing would be another saving. On trunk routes buses could turn short, jump stops and use other flexibility measures.
  12. All road vehicle accident and injury rates would decrease, reducing insurance rates, a saving to everyone.
  13. By running the buses on CNG instead of diesel (already a recommendation of the ACT Greenhouse Strategy) many more people will travel using this low environmental impact fuel.
  14. The overall reduction in vehicle exhaust pollution would assist our compliance with the Kyoto Convention and also alleviate the smog problem in Tuggeranong valley.
  15. Increase public transport usage will improve the social fabric of Canberra as people meet each other on the buses.
  16. This strategy would greatly assist Canberra to meet the Canberra 2020 Summit target of 50% of travel trips by other than private vehicle by 2020.

Opposition can be expected from petrol companies, motor manufacturers, tyre makers, road builders and other lobby groups with a vested interest in increasing our reliance on our cars.

Some taxpayers may argue they are being forced to pay for something they don't use, however, if they must still use a car they will benefit from the lowered road traffic congestion.

Overuse could be adjusted by making peak-hour bus stops at least half a kilometre apart, with closer spaced, intervening off-peak stops to facilitate access by those with a disability. More bus lanes would be easy to implement once we have lowered congestion. Both of these measures would further speed up peak-hour services.

Light-rail is very expensive to install and inflexible for a place like Canberra. It cannot provide express peak-hour services and if a light-rail vehicle breaks down, it blocks the route. Light-rail really needs its own right-of-way to work successfully. We already have a road infrastructure well suited to buses. A light-rail between Gungahlin and Civic would need either a massive annual operating subsidy or very high fares, as exemplified by the privatised light-rail service in inner Sydney, operating in a much higher population density than Canberra.

This is a great opportunity for Canberra to show the world what can be done in a homogeneous planned environment, with a well-educated population, willing to try such an exciting experiment. Canberra would certainly attract world media and professional transport experts' attention.

Remember how successful "zero-fare" public transport was for the Sydney Olympics and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games!
Chris Emery, retired Professional Engineer, Reid 2612  [pdf]

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rewards of free transport are so numerous

...One figure has traffic congestion costing Sydney about $8billion dollars per year in the next few years.

I have argued that to achieve efficiency the most simple way is to make public transport free. No new large infrastructure needs to be built. Roads already exist for freight to move along and with fewer cars on the road freight movements are more “productive”. This requires and investment in more rail lines and substantially more buses and trains of course. The rewards of free public transport are so numerous I believe governments are committing a crime against the populous if they don’t implement a program in the coming years....Adam Butler

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Free transport eminently doable

...So roughly a 1% increase in the state budget would make the trains free. Call it 2% to include busses and ferries. Some of that you get back from savings in ticketing costs. Probably have to spend more to improve the service to cope with increased demand. But then gain more savings on reduced costs in road casualties, health care due to pollution – hey, maybe you could claim carbon credits by getting people off the roads. Mark's comments on An Onymous Lefty