||27 Jul 2007 2:16:31pm
||What is wrong with our Public Transport Systems
"Why is public transport so fragmented", the simple answer to that is the economic rationalism which Australia has undertaken in the past 20 years.
I worked for the (MTT) Transperth in Western Australia from 1979 – 1990 as a bus driver, this was a time when the Bus System was still fully operated by the Government of Western Australia and a time when the then premier, Sir Charles Court closed down one of the busiest rail lines in Perth The Perth to Fremantle Line.
In 1983 when the Burke Labor Government came to power, the Fremantle line was upgraded and re-opened and slowly over the next Decade, the metropolitan rail system was electrified and the Jonndalup Line was commissioned.
Over the next 9 years the public transport system was slowly downgraded again by the Richard Court Liberal Government (The son of Sir Charles) and the running of the Bus Fleet was outsourced to private companies which fragmented the system, with different companies having responsibility for different areas, some of which overlapped, buses started running late or not running at all, they were not as well maintained, cleaned, there were less drivers doing longer hours making their stress levels increase.
Since 2001, first the Gallop and now the Carpenter Labor Governments have introduced the Mandurah Rail Line.
It is unfortunate that the Liberal Governments of South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria in the 90’s virtually sold of the public transport systems we had in this country, Private Enterprise cannot and should not have a role in the delivery of an essential service such as public transport, it is a service which by it’s nature is not meant to make a profit, to do so means either the number of services are cut, drivers number are decreased and fares must rise to allow them to make a profit margin.
Fundamentally, we must have governments take back full operational responsibility for Public Transport, Adelaide must come into the 21st Century and replace it’s aging diesel railcars with modern quiet environmentally safer Electrified trains, it must further expand the light rail (Tram Service) out into the outlying areas as far north as munno purra, replace the aging O’bahn System with Light Rail and build bus/train/tram interface hubs to make the public transport system more interchangeable for passengers to use and give priority on our roads to Public Transport over Private Vehicles.
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