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Is public transport as green as you think?

It’s true emissions from public transport aren’t as low relative to cars as is popularly imagined, but the savings are still significant. And there are other good reasons to invest in worthwhile transit services.

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Are young adults really dominating public transport use?

The world would be a much better place if transport operators would stop spinning patronage numbers to the media and public and start giving us the salient facts instead. The Financial Review reported on Thursday that travellers in Melbourne aged 20-29 years comprise 38% of all public transport users in the city. This figure is [...]

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Is the iPhone why Gen Y love public transport?

The “mystery factor” driving faster patronage growth on public transport may be Gen Y’s enthusiasm for staying connected through smartphones. Speaking to a reporter from The West Australian last week, Professor Peter Newman argued that previous generations found freedom and flexibility through the car, but generation Ys find freedom and flexibility by staying connected to friends, family [...]

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Does concern for the environment drive public transport patronage growth?

According to a recent paper, research by the Victorian Department of Transport (DoT) suggests concern for the environment and a healthy lifestyle is a key driver of the recent surge in public transport patronage in Melbourne. DoT initially concluded that the primary drivers of growth over the period 2002-07 were population growth, higher petrol prices [...]

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How many travellers use the trains?

The President of the Public Transport Users Association, Daniel Bowen, posted some “unofficial” stats last week on boardings at Melbourne’s railway stations in 2008-09. I’ve used these numbers to put together the accompanying exhibit showing the number of weekday boardings on the Epping and Hurstbridge lines. These two lines join into one at Clifton Hill [...]

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Do we want cars in the city centre?

I’ve noted before that only 30% of commuters who work within the Hoddle Grid – i.e. the area bounded by Spring, Flinders, Spencer and La Trobe streets – drive to work. However only a block or two beyond the city rail loop, the share of work trips taken by car increases steeply to 50-60%, and [...]

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Is transit patronage really growing this fast?

I’ve noted before that public transport patronage in Australian cities is increasing, but I didn’t realise just how dramatically it has escalated in Melbourne until I had cause to leaf through the Annual Review 2010 published by Metlink, the marketing organisation for Melbourne’s train, tram and bus operators. This claim really caught my attention: “Metlink [...]

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Why is public transport patronage increasing?

As the accompanying chart shows, public transport patronage has grown sharply in some of Australia’s capitals this past decade but the rate of growth has generally slowed significantly over the last 18 months. We’re accustomed to thinking that growth in patronage is driven by higher petrol prices but the chart indicates the explanation is probably [...]

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What if the price of petrol doubled?

One clue to the likely consequence of a major hike in the price of petrol is provided by the recent past. As it happens, the price almost doubled within the last ten years. The accompanying chart, which is based on ABS data, shows the nominal price increased 100% between March 2000 and September 2008. Fortunately [...]

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