Thursday, December 18, 2014

Melbourne to have "free tram zone" in 2015

1 January 2015 Fare changes - Public Transport Victoria: "In 2015, Victoria’s public transport network will be more focused on you than ever before.

With a new Free Tram Zone in Melbourne City and cheaper fares when travelling across Zone 1 and 2, getting around Melbourne has never been easier, or more affordable."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Don't put roads first, Senate finds, public transport is crucial

Brisbanetimes : "The federal government should not prioritise roads over rail projects, but should be willing to fund both according to  merit, a Senate report has recommended.

The report found that public transport is crucial to raising national productivity by reducing congestion and "should be considered as nationally significant infrastructure", just as roads are.

The Senate report, released this month after a 12-month inquiry, has emerged as new Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Prime Minister Tony Abbott face off over $3 billion of federal funds Canberra has committed to the cancelled East West Link."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tony Abbott should change tune on public transport says industry group

Bega District News: "The federal government needs to start funding public transport, the industry lobby says  as it releases a report showing the area around a new Sydney rail line has grown faster than the rest of the city."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Frankston independent MP Geoff Shaw floats free public transport for pensioners Herald Sun

Herald Sun: "ELDERLY rights campaigner John Murray has joined forces with rogue MP Geoff Shaw to table a bill to help ease the burden on elderly commuters.

The Frankston MP yesterday announced he would submit a private members bill to give Victoria’s elderly population free travel on public transport if he was re-elected in November."

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Push for free public transport during G20

brisbanetimes : "Momentum is building for public transport to be free in Brisbane throughout the three days of the G20 world leaders summit next month.

Commuter advocacy group Rail Back on Track has called for free public transport in the city throughout the three days, reasoning that Brisbane residents should be afforded the same opportunity as the 7000 summit delegates, who will all be given Go Cards for travel through the period."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Best way to encourage use of public transport is to make it free

Newcastle Herald: "THE best way to encourage people to leave their cars at home is by building cycleways suitable for daily commuting and developing fast, free and safe public transport systems.

Such measures would result in fewer accidents, faster travel times and cleaner air."

Monday, October 6, 2014

Victorian election: this time, can we please talk about public transport?

The Guardian: "The evidence from around the world shows that cities that build their transport systems around public transport find that transport costs are less of a drain on the regional economy than those that put the car at the centre of their transport plans.

This is in part because of the huge public cost of building and maintaining roads, combined with the private costs of owning and running the family fleet of cars. It is also because of the high cost of the social isolation endured by the young, the old, and the increasing number of people who are cut off from jobs, hospitals, and social networks.

Public transport, along with cycling and walking, is part of the solution to transport’s contribution to the climate emergency, the reality of which we are experiencing with increasing frequency."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

East West Link project stalls as financiers postpone construction

theage : "The Napthine government's pledge to begin work on the East West Link by the end of the year is in disarray, with financiers close to the project saying construction will be postponed until a looming court case is resolved."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Labor to dump East-West Link if elected, even if contracts are signed

theage : "The East West Link will be dumped if Labor wins the state election, even if business contracts to build the multibillion-dollar road have already been signed.

In a high-stakes gamble that will set a clear battle line for the November 29 poll, Labor has confirmed if it forms government it will use a looming court battle to render the contract for the eastern section of the project invalid."

Friday, August 29, 2014

People in Australia fight against wasteful road-building #tunnelpicket

No East West Tunnel - Take the pledge: "The #tunnelpicket takes on the Liberal party and its big business backers. The police used excessive force and the new 'move on' laws to make sure the richest businessmen could sit down with the Government and plan out Victoria's future in the interests of profit rather than ordinary people. Well done to all the community members who took part to put an end to this kind of rotten politics! "

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Urban sprawl and lack of public provision leads to ‘transport poverty’

The Guardian: "These factors lead to transport poverty – where a household is forced to pay more in travel costs than it can reasonably afford.

Transport poverty can occur when people feel forced into car ownership. While there is strong population growth on the fringes of big cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, public transport is often lacking in these areas."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

No East West Tunnel - Take the pledge

"The #tunnelpicket attended the Metropolitan Transport Forum tonight. We want to make sure the major parties have to answer why they’re ploughing ahead with the disastrous East-West Link before they can spruik fake public transport policy in the lead up to the State Election. We got a great response from ordinary people attending the forum, many of whom promised to get involved with the campaign!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

NSW #freepublictransport is popular, shows what people really want

Passengers savour free tickets to ride, courtesy of the Opal Card | "Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian confirmed customers are now flocking to public transport on Saturdays and Sundays. And she expects weekend patronage to increase even more.
Ms Berejiklian puts the bulging carriages and buses down to the free travel provided to Opal card holders once they make eight paid journeys in a week. Opal card holders can also travel all day on a Sunday for $2.50.
“The NSW government has provided more than 8500 extra weekly public transport services since March 2011, and we will continue to look at increasing public transport services for customers when and where it is needed,” she said. “And that includes on the weekend.”"

Friday, August 1, 2014

No East West Tunnel - Fix the buses first!

Facebook: "#tunnelpicket paying a visit to Labor MP for Richmond, Richard Wynne's, office in Smith St. Labor must commit to rip up the contracts!"

Monday, July 28, 2014

East West Link: The case against this road gets ever stronger

smh : "If the East West Link goes ahead there will be no money for public transport for at least a generation, irrespective of political promises. "

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Light rail could trigger big shift from cars to public transport

canberratimes : "The introduction of light rail as part of an integrated public transport network in Canberra could lead to a doubling of the number of commuters who leave their cars at home."

'via Blog this'

Monday, July 7, 2014

Money for public transport, not East West Link

Green Left Weekly: "What we need is a massive infusion of funds for public transport, because ever since the early 1960s governments have been grinding down public transport, following the US model. ."

Friday, June 27, 2014

Large numbers of people evading buses and costing taxpayers millions of dollars

Buses are provided by the government, but still many people choose to drive cars. This is costing Australia millions of dollars in damages from drought, flood, heat, and fires from climate change. In addition, the driving of cars causes massive export of local wealth for fuel. "And there has been a 57 per cent increase in Transport Department service orders slapped on bus operators over issues such as driver quality, route signage and ticket information."

Friday, June 20, 2014

The private 'police' of public transport : "The entire asking for tickets part of a transit officer’s job is a waste of time. Whenever the inspectors swagger onto a train, I can pick who’s most likely not to have a valid ticket.

Worst of all, I’m usually right.

It’s the poorest, most vulnerable and downtrodden. People who are also least likely to be able to afford it. People who are probably only an application form and short training course away from being transit officers themselves.

With all the fines and transit officers, are we saying as a society that anyone who can’t afford to travel shouldn’t be allowed to?

Public transport should be free, and the cost shared proportionally by everyone in this country, based on how much tax they pay, not how much they use it, otherwise it’s not ‘public’ transport at all."

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Policy delivers seven million free trips

Sunshine Coast Queensland: "“As part of our strong plan for a brighter future we are delivering real savings for passengers with more than 7.1 million free journeys taken since June 2012,” Mr Emerson said.
“Many of these trips would not have been taken without the incentive of free travel with the policy encouraging passengers to choose to get out of their cars and on to public transport."

Friday, May 23, 2014

In New South Wales, universal travel card makes implementing #freetransit easier

Free trips: "More than two million free trips have been taken by customers using the Opal card on buses, trains and ferries with more than 250,000 cards now registered.

Customers can travel free anywhere on the Opal network once they have reached their weekly travel cap of eight paid journeys during the week, or reached their daily cap.
 "For bus customers, the rollout is underway and they too can enjoy cheaper fares, the convenience of always knowing their Opal card is ready to go and never again arriving at the bus stop to find their TravelTen has no rides left."
"This is the fantastic thing about Opal – travelling for free will increase patronage once customers realise they can jump on and off public transport without paying a thing," she says.
The NSW Government also announced Opal is now activated on all of the State Transit buses serving the 326, 327, 355, 361 and L24 bus routes."

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Noosa’s Free Easter Buses a Success

View News: "The numbers are in, and there’s no doubt Noosa’s Free Holiday Buses over the Easter break were a runaway success.

Better still, there’s evidence the initiative helped to get cars off the road and reduce congestion during one of Noosa’s busiest holiday periods.

A record number of around 33,000 passenger trips were recorded on the free buses which ran for 8 days over the Easter break.

Patronage more than tripled on the five local TransLink services; from 4,358 passenger trips last year when no free services were offered, to 13,738 passenger trips over the same period this year."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The budget has it backwards on climate

Australian Broadcasting Corporation : "IF THERE WAS ANY DOUBT that the election of the Abbott Government might slam the brakes on Australia's climate and clean energy progress, it's now over. With the Government's first budget, it's reversing at full speed."

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mass community action only way to stop wasteful road building

No East West Tunnel - Take the pledge: "If the process doesn't suit the government's pro-road agenda they just change the rules... The only thing that will stop Royal Park being ruined is mass community action."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

East West Link planning process leaves Melbourne's public in the dark

the age : "In Victoria, the East West Link business case is being treated as a state secret. It has been hidden from the public and Assessment Committee alike. Documents obtained under freedom-of-information legislation disclose the strong criticisms made by consultants of the methodology used to produce a positive financial return.

The inclusion of “wider economic benefits” delivering over 40 per cent of the claimed return has been widely criticised. No justification has been offered. Minimal information has been given about the tolls to be charged and the impact on driver behaviour.

The traffic modelling evidence is that congestion levels will be worse than the present within 10 years. One only has to observe the peak-hour crawl on CityLink or the Burnley Tunnel to see that the promise of new freeways delivering free-flowing peak-hour traffic is a mirage."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Axe $13 billion in fossil-fuel subsidies

Greens | Adam Bandt: "The Greens today said a report from the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) makes clear that Tony Abbott can raise more than $13 billion without hurting vulnerable Australians.

The PBO report details how, by ending taxpayer subsidies to ‘big mining’ and the likes of Gina Rinehart, the Abbott Government wouldn’t need to go after pensioners, disabled people and Medicare, said acting Greens Leader, Adam Bandt."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

East West Link faces Supreme Court challenge

the age : "The East West Link is set to be challenged in the Supreme Court, with the Napthine government accused of deliberately overstating the claimed benefits of the project.

In a case reminiscent of the movie The Castle, Brunswick resident Anthony Murphy and a team of senior lawyers will try to halt the tender process for the $6 billion to $8 billion project by arguing the state government has misled the public."

Friday, April 18, 2014

East West Link protesters march in down Sydney Rd

Picture: Andrew Henshaw Source: News Limited
Herald Sun: "ABOUT 1000 residents took to the street on Sunday afternoon to again protest about the Napthine Government’s East West Link.

Protesters marched down Sydney Rd in the city’s north as part of the sustained opposition to the project, with Victoria Police shutting the northbound lane for the march."

Labor could tear up East West Link contract if it wins election

the age: "Should Labor win the November state election, there is no legal impediment stopping it from tearing up the contract for the East West Link if it is sincere in its opposition to the road project, experts in contract law and public policy say."

Monday, April 14, 2014

East West Link project set to carve trench through Royal Park

the age : "A trench several hundred metres long is likely to be dug through Royal Park, creating up to 12 months of major disruption to park users and damaging the landscape for up to 20 years, as part of building the East West Link."

Commuters want public transport, not motorways

Green Left Weekly: "The increasingly unpopular WestConnex is the biggest infrastructure project in Australia’s history. It will consist of a series of tunnels under Sydney's inner west to join the existing M4 to the city, the airport, Port Botany and the M5. This adds up to 33 kilometres of highway, with an estimated cost of $11.8 billion and a 10-year construction timeframe."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Money wasted on East-West Link would buy a lot of public transport

Herald Sun: "Campaign organiser Anthony Main said the group would take its pro-public transport message to Mernda this Saturday, April 12, as part of a outer suburban and regional tour.

Mr Main said it was “high time” Mernda — with its 50,000 residents — had a railway station. “Our concern is that if the East West Link is built it will suck funds away from projects like the Mernda rail extension,” Mr Main said.

“We want to see the tunnel scrapped and instead funds directed to communities like Mernda and Doreen that are starved of public transport options.”"

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Territorians paying more for transport than food and housing, NTCOSS report finds

ABC News : "The Northern Territory Council of Social Service (NTCOSS) has released its third Cost of Living Report, showing household transport bills have increased to $260 a week.

It blames the increase on the high price of unleaded petrol and the need for remote households to travel long distances for essential services."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Car dependency has people begging for more car dependency

Braddon customer parking relief on the way: "Canberra Business Council chief Chris Faulks said the area's booming popularity and construction works had put such a squeeze on car parking that the government needed to step in.

''While we support the ACT government's promotion of public transport and active transport into the future the reality is that parking is critical for businesses to survive,'' she said."

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Can't have free trams, because people want them. Right wing logic.

Geoff Shaw slams free trams as socialism: "''I am just highlighting my concern about socialism,'' Mr Shaw said. ''I catch trams. Around the city they are already pretty full. I do not know how we can encourage more people to use trams now that they are free. A user pays system is probably more what I am after.''"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

East-West tunnel is a disaster three ways: financial, social, ecological

Opponent of free public transport shoots self in foot!

The Urbanist: "Higher patronage generated by abolishing fares would increase operating costs and crowding without any offsetting increase in revenue. It’s inevitable there’d also be pressure to abolish fares in regional centres. The real cost to the state budget would be considerably higher than $650 million."
This boils down to: "we can't have free public transport, because.... uh, because... people want it."

Friday, March 28, 2014

Transport "expert" sees crowding as a "problem."

Attention experts. Bus crowding is not a problem. Just add more buses. The government represents the people, right? Well the "people" constantly tell pollsters to build more public transit! Here are some real problems: global warming, climate disruption, floods, drought, fires, traffic congestion, parking.... etc.
Cheaper public transport fares are not fair: "Although the fares are free, revenue loss will not be that high; suburban rail commuters using CBD trams have already paid the fare, so they don't really get free travel. Likewise tram commuters have already "swiped on" in the suburbs. What of fare evaders? In practice it's impractical to check tickets on crowded CBD trams so the free policy is quite pragmatic. However, there will be problems. Local CBD tram travel will increase by about 30 per cent so CBD trams will be more crowded."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Protest works. #Tunnelpicket action has spurred debate about #publictransit

State government plans overhaul to Melbourne public transport zones, ticketing: "Melburnians will be guaranteed free travel on trams within the CBD and Docklands, and zone 2 commuters will be charged a zone 1 fare regardless of who wins November’s state election."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Painful birth of the East-West Link

Plan Melbourne: Wrong way, go back: "''It was as though the document had suddenly become the Ministerial Advisory Committee's document and that the other people, including some in the room, had had no input,'' recalls Hansen. ''They certainly didn't put their hands up to declare that they were contributors.

''The commentary coming from some of the public servants around the table quite frankly was insulting.''"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

No East West Tunnel - Take the pledge

No East West Tunnel - Take the pledge: "Why did #tunnelpicket join March In March Australia 2014? It might have something to do with this quote from Tony Abbott's book:

“In Australia’s biggest cities, public transport is generally slow, expensive, not especially reliable and still hideous drain on the public purse. Part of the problem is inefficient, overmanned, union-dominated government run train and bus systems. Mostly though, …there just aren’t enough people wanting to go from a particular place to a particular destination at a particular time to justify any vehicle larger than a car, and cars need roads.”"

Sunday, March 16, 2014

If bicycling not safe for children, it is not safe

Bill Cawte - Better Bike Paths Now : "There is a lot of work to be done.  We must do anything it takes to meet the needs of the least confident riders and potential riders.  Anybody who has ever had half a mind to try riding to work, or school, or to the shops must be made to feel safe, and confident of government's utmost support.  Our cycling facilities must meet the ‘Mums and Kids Test', whereby they provide a level of reassurance sufficient for mothers to send their children out on their bikes."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Voting is managed by corporate media, now they are banning protest

Australia Anti-Protest Law: Victoria State Passes Legislation To Expand Police Powers: "In Victoria's capital of Melbourne, protesters have repeatedly tried to block the work of a multi-billion dollar road and tunnel project called the East West Link Road in recent months. The protesters have raised concerns about the project's environmental impact and huge price tag. Victorian police have been accused of reacting with heavy-handed tactics to disperse demonstrations."

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Millions wasted marketing East-West Link, and people not buying it

No East West Tunnel - Take the pledge: "...Despite countless hours and millions of dollars spent marketing the $8 billion road project, the latest Age/Nielsen poll has found that only one in four Victorians believe the tunnel should be the highest infrastructure priority to ease congestion and improve liveability." The Age

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Proper way to fight road-building. Offer an alternative, public transport!

No East West Tunnel - Take the pledge: "Thanks to everyone who joined the #tunnelpicket contingent at the rally against Napthine's anti-protest laws today. We marched behind a fantastic banner and at the end lots of unionists joined in with our "No tunnel, No way..." chant. That's the type of solidarity we need to beat back these anti-democratic laws!"

Friday, February 14, 2014

It costs 1 dollar to collect 2 dollars in fares via Myki

Myki Vs Free PT | Thomas the Think Engine: "In theory, Melburnians could each pay 50 bucks more tax and get free PT. Until then, a weekly zone 1 ticket costs $28.  Have fun, Melburnians."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Redirect corporate welfare to #publictransport, Greens

Greens seek economic stimulus for states | SBS News: ""By building more public housing and fast-tracking public transport projects we can find jobs for the workers facing redundancy, address the housing crisis and care for the planet all at once," Mr Bandt told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday."

Monday, February 10, 2014

‘Entitled’ road users need to pay their way : "Now that the age of entitlement is over, when will road users have to start paying their way?

Here in Brisbane, Premier Campbell “Can-do” Newman simply cannot get his head around the idea of making drivers pay for clogging the roads in peak hour. That would only raise the cost of living, he says.

Our state government will therefore go on spending billions on freeways and other roads which are literally free to use. At the same time, however, those who use public transport have to pay a toll (called a fare) whenever they enter a train, bus or ferry. And in peak hour, these tolls are higher than usual."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

In Australia protesters link NO to roads with YES to public transport

Herald Sun: "The man, 31, managed to break through security early this morning and climbed atop a rig with a fellow demonstrator.
He then hooked himself on with a bike lock around his neck.
About 40 protesters formed a human chain to block workers and police from entering the Fitzroy North site on the corner of Alexandra Pde and Nicholson St."

In their own words:

To all those involved in #tunnelpicket and all those who wish to join us in our fight for public transport, I must say that watching the community picket with a birds eye view from atop the rig this morning with fellow picketer Simon allowed us to see one thing very clearly: The dozens of community picketers on the ground made an awesome team effort in deploying the group's resources effectively and holding off the police and LMA from breaking our picket in order to resume drilling. Without a mass of picketers, individual tactics like locking on are a complete waste of time and way more dangerous. Because the 50 or so picketers on the ground worked so well together we were successful in holding up drilling for up to 1hr 45min this morning. Everyone who supports the fight to stop this dud #eastwestlink should make an effort to join our pickets. We cannot win this alone, every person has a role to play! Like the page No East West Tunnel - Take the pledge and txt 'tunnel' to 0432 447 036 to receive our action alerts. We will be back tomorrow!

Building roads has not reduced congestion in Melbourne area

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Free public transport advocate explains externalities (e.g. cost to environment)

Free Public Transit: "When i began to teach (and understand) systems thinking thirty years ago, it occurred to me that “problem solving” practice, or the conventional “problem/solution” expectation was a recipe for continuous displacements. This in turn was a fantastic source of employment and growth – as required by our political economy – but all performed at the expense of energy and planetary “resource” use, most of which did not have to be accounted for and therefore was not recognised, by that political economy.1 The displacements were of every type imaginable: spatial, temporal, social and ideological. So that, for example, when we threw away the chip bucket, the away to which it went, in the first instance, did not arise at all in the minds of the throwers and when it finally did, it became landfill. Landfill “dealt with” it:"

'via Blog this'

Monday, January 27, 2014

Queensland - charging fares for public transport leads to bad health

brisbanetimes : "Dr Burke, also a Heart Foundation spokesman, said more than 80 per cent of trips taken in the southeast were by car and one third of those trips were less than three kilometres.

He said the high cost of Queensland’s public transport network discouraged many people from using it.

As a result, he said many people were not getting the 30 minutes of incidental, low-intensity exercise each day that often came with venturing to and from public transport access points and that could have enormous preventative health benefits."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

People want public transport, not more roads

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Victorian government failed to prove case for east-west link, infrastructure umpire finds : "The state government failed to submit a ''robust'' business case for independent scrutiny to justify the east-west road link, according to Australia's major projects umpire.

Infrastructure Australia has singled out the controversial $6 billion to $8 billion road as a key example of why the public are cynical about about ''big-ticket'' infrastructure announcements.

In a strongly worded submission to a Senate inquiry examining government plans to overhaul of the advisory body, Infrastructure Australia national co-ordinator Michael Deegan warns that big spending promises are being made without proper scrutiny."

'via Blog this'

Friday, January 24, 2014

Campaign against East-West Tunnel still strong and having an impact

No East West Tunnel - Take the pledge: "Today is the day the Linking Melbourne Authority said they would finish the test drilling for the East West toll road tunnel (after they had already said they were finished last November!)

They are clearly not even close to being finished, with less than half of the bore holes completed. We are clearly having an effect slowing down the project. Help us force Napthine to take it to the next election!"

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Melbourne city centre a death trap as heat-island effect takes its toll : "The number of heat-related deaths in Melbourne is expected to more than double by 2030.

During 2009's January heatwave, there were 374 more deaths statewide than would be expected for the week when comparing data over five years. The greatest number of deaths occurred in those aged 75 or older.

A sustainable cities expert, Professor Steffen Lehmann from the University of South Australia, said cities trapped and stored heat ''like a baking oven''."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Just ignore the 40 degree weather, Tony Abbott says it's a hoax

Go home now, Metro says as heat hits services: "Commuters are in for a nightmare journey home this evening, with scores of trains and trams predicted to fail as the temperature soars into the mid 40s.

Metro is urging commuters who can leave work early to do so. Melbourne's rail operator expects to have to take many of its trains out of service this afternoon as the extreme heat takes its toll.

By 4pm, services had been suspended on five suburban lines."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

About the Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport

About YCAT: "In times of rising fuel prices, oil supply issues, health concerns about air pollution and global warming, it seems to be bordering on an obscenity that Victoria’s elected state government is prepared to listen to private enterprise rather than the real concerns of local communities.

You can also take action – please inform all your family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, school & friends about what is planned in our suburbs."

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Where are the privatization success stories? There aren't any.

ACCC’s Sims spreads rot on power prices: "It seems to me that consumers do not receive any value from the sale of public assets – just look at transport in Victoria. The sale of assets is a short-term gain by politicians for longer-term pain to be suffered by the public."

'via Blog this'