Amid a forecast of rising petrol prices the Public Transport Users Association released its pre-budget submission calling on the State Government to dramatically improve public transport.
The Herald-Sun has reported on this pre-budget submission:
The Public Transport Users Association said the latest price hike increased the need for a major boost to public transport in the state budget.
“After months of poor reliability and disruptions, public confidence in the system is at a tipping point,” association vice-president Alex Makin said.
The effects of a lack of public transport and, as a consequence, car dependence, are clearly reflected in the data for total vehicle kilometres for the years 2005/06 (source: VicRoads).
Within inner Melbourne (which is relatively well-served with a comprehensive train and tram network) overall total vehicle kilometres travelled fell by 1.9%. In contrast however, total vehicle kilometres travelled fell by just 0.3% in the outer suburbs.
Without decisive action people would continue to be vulnerable to higher oil prices – as people abandon the system, as well as increased congestion, pollution and greenhouse emissions, he said.
The upcoming State Budget will be a key litmus test for Lynne Kosky, the newly appointed Minister for Public Transport and whether she deliver an alternative to the crippling effects of rising petrol prices.