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The Forum > Article Comments > A revolution in the transport economy > Comments

A revolution in the transport economy : Comments

By Tristan Ewins, published 20/8/2008

With skyrocketing oil prices there is an incentive for governments to restructure their transport economies.

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Great article Tristan, you forgot to quote Tim Fischer who said that there is less resistance from an iron wheel rolling on an iron rail than rubber being burnt off on a bitumen road.
A simple way to increase outer suburban public transport patronage is to revamp those timetables that have buses leaving the railway station just as the express train is scheduled to pull in thus forcing commuters into an hour long wait for the next bus or a 6 km walk home. Where connecting buses run at more than 20 minute intervals after 6pm there should be more car parking provided at the railway station.

Oh and lose those super tram stops, they restrict traffic to one lane and reduce visibility. Stop playing games and put on more rolling stock.
Posted by billie, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 9:47:49 AM
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Dear friends;

I've noticed that there's very little traffic going on in OLO comments today... Are there still lots of readers out there? Just wondering - because of course when you have work published - you like to provide debate and make people think. To provoke discussion, ideas etc - makes one feel that the work of writing is worthwhile.

take care, most sincerely,

Tristan
Posted by Tristan Ewins, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 4:15:15 PM
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Public transport is so much of a joke and, sadly, our own party should be doing far more. Kennett killed the great idea of a rail line to the airport to satisfy his city link mates but such a service would significantly reduce carbon emissions, slash traffic and make life so much easier for travellers and visitors alike
Connies on our trams would ensure that more than the current 10% of passengers actually pay for the service, help people who need help to get on and off and reduce the lout influence
Increased and improved services would make travel better... and the reasons are so many I will not list them on this occasion
So the question becomes one of why aren't these things being done? Whose benefit is it to keep things as badly as they presently are?
Posted by Ange, Thursday, 21 August 2008 6:43:25 AM
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some european cities use 'public use' bicycles to get around town, capital cities here could do this.

better yet, about half of the cars on the road could be replaced by motor scooters, right now. a commuter car could be put on the road inside 3 years that will carry 4 people at a max speed of 80 klicks and consumption rate about a third of current small cars.

long term solutions need technological solutions, but the main problem in the short to medium term is political: politicians can not act for fear of losing their positions.

that's the price humans pay for letting politicians run the place. i wish ozzies weren't terrified of democracy, as continuing passivity is likely to ruin the planet past repair.
Posted by DEMOS, Thursday, 21 August 2008 9:05:20 AM
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One way of increasing the use of public transport is to make it free.
Hasselt a town in Belgium has done this and it is very successful.
Working on the assumption that you wonít get people out of their cars without providing a comprehensive public transport system, Hasselt transformed its two line bus service to a nine line service, taking in every district in the city, and committing to a half-hourly service during the day and a night bus that took in every stop in the city. This increased to a 15-minute service during rush hour.
And here comes the exciting bit -to ensure that take-up was as large as possible, they made the services free.

Well, the papers went mad. The world called them crazy. And the people went on the bus. On day one -1 July 1997 -passenger numbers rose from the usual 1000 to 7832. And numbers didnít slump once the novelty wore off, they just kept increasing. These days, the increase in bus passengers is touching on 1,000 per cent.

The cost is always something people ask. In fact, the council was in deep debt in the mid-90s and the radical re-think was partly prompted by the fact that they just couldnít afford a new ring road. Improving the bus service and making it free was cheaper. In 1998, it worked out as costing (euro)22.63 per household. Since then, it has more than paid for itself by attracting so much new commerce to the city that the councilís debt has gone and taxes are down.
Funnily enough, it still has a high level of car ownership; itís just that people drive them much more rarely these days.
There is a similar scheme in a city in South America called CURITIBA.
The other way to encourage more use of public transport is to introduce a congestion charge as London has done and number of other cities are considering.
Posted by sarnian, Thursday, 21 August 2008 9:50:54 AM
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PRESERVATION OF DEMOCRACY DEPENDS ON OIL CONSERVATION

FOR Victoria, peak oil is a serious risk-management problem, so the objectives of the east-west links study should be based on the assumption that frugality and the conservation of oil are essential for the preservation of a democratic way of life and avoidance of mass unemployment. In 2000, Australia's production of crude oil and condensate satisfied nearly all its needs but by 2012, 80% may be imported.

The threat comes from world crude oil production peaking between 2008
and 2012, which will increase imported crude oil prices, perhaps to $US200 a barrel. This will cause permanent oil shortages, necessitating fuel rationing, and requires serious consideration of the future cost and availability of oil. People living in outer-urban and rural areas will be the most disadvantaged, and within a year or so the wellbeing of most other people will be under threat.

In July crude oil reached $US147 a barrel. In Sir Rod Eddington's report, he has assumed that the price of oil in 2020 will be between $US35 and $US90 a barrel. Not only that, but the estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions are all based on estimates using these low oil prices to calculate emission levels. Sir Rod's assumption that oil could be so cheap 12 years from now is why the priorities are wrong in his report.

The need is to reduce oil consumption by decoupling the growth in oil consumption from the growth of gross domestic product much faster than Sir Rod believes is necessary.
Victoria needs a crash program to reduce single-occupant car use, increase the use of high-occupancy public transport, walking and cycling and many other measures to free Australia from oil dependence by 2020. The last thing we need is a road tunnel to generate more car trips.
Alan Parker, Sorrento
Posted by PEST, Thursday, 21 August 2008 10:43:53 AM
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