Can commonwealth take over responsibility for funding public transport?
Australia has faced challenges in delivering services and infrastructure due to the poor public transport. There has been a lot of congestion in the city (Hensher, Rose & Collins, 2011); the high number of private cars that travel to the city are blamed for this congestion. The population is also growing rapidly, and the economy is also growing creating demand high pressure about the capacity. Due to these challenges the government has seen the need to integrate public road to ease movement and reduce congestion in the cities. A study has shown that in 2013, the use of busses and train patronage increased for the tenth year in succession. This trend predicts that by 2031 public transport system will require carrying twice as many passengers as it is carrying now.
Public transport plays a great role in conserving the environment. It preserves the environment by reducing air pollution caused by carbon monoxide emitted by cars. By using public transport, carbon emissions are reduced by 20lbs.If a single person commuting by private means can reduce emissions by 4800 pounds per year, a higher number of individuals who switch to public transport will reduce the carbons emissions on a higher level. This will also ensure saving on energy (Jarboui, Forget & Boujelbene, 2012); a single bus carrying a lot of people will use less fuel compared to if each of the individuals used private means.
Traffic conditions are severe in cities; public transport has played a role in reducing congestion in the city. A subway can carry about 30,000 passengers in an hour, imagine if each one of this passengers used their private means to get to their destination. They will all need packing, and additional highways would be required. Buses can easily deliver an extra capacity and when combined with the creation of bus lanes they can reduce delay and improve time reliability.
Increases the economic benefits.
Public transport has increased productivity in the economy (Jarboui, Forget & Boujelbene, 2012). It enhances the free flow of people and goods. People can easily move about to their various destinations without necessarily having to incur a lot of transport cost. Time is also saved, and people have greater access to facilities like hospitals, schools and opportunities to the job market. Apart from the easy movement of people, products and raw materials can be moved to factories and their certain market, since the public transport will ease congestion in the city and also ensure that areas that were not accessible are accessible. It is estimated that for each $ 1 invested in public transport there is an economic return of $4.public transportation will be able to sustain 1.1 million jobs. This investment is also associated with higher GDP compared to any other type of investment in Australia.
Driving remains the most popular trend for 70 % of all domestic passengers.75% of on bulk local freights are dominating movement between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide. In the railway sector which dominates movement between Perth and Eastern States, There is increased pressure on the rail system. At present the, there is only one route between Melbourne and Brisbane, which is through Sydney. This has caused capacity constraints in Sydney. If the government would provide an inland route, it has the potential to provide a rail option of seven hours faster and 170 kilometers short journey to passengers.
Marine activity has also grown rapidly with container trade contributing two third of the growth. There is also an increase of cruise vessels operating in Australia. Queensland and New South Wales have accounted for two-thirds of the passengers. These trends have shown that public transport will be greatly appreciated by the public as it will ease congestion, ensure that time is saved and reduce the cost of transport in these states
The increasing environmental pollution and impact on equity due to urban congestion have forced commonwealth to be involved in public transport issues in Australia. Reasons for the involvement of Commonwealth is that it has set aside funds to support member states in their transportation system. This will ensure that there is sustainable development in the states that the Commonwealth is financing in the sector of carriage.
Observers have called for the commitment of the Commonwealth government to support the national transport system. Commonwealth involving in support of public transport system has been direct and indirect. It has directly contributed money to support the transport system. Imposing high tax on fuel, pollution charges and increasing car fees are some of the indirect ways in which Commonwealth has been involved in this program.
In conclusion, public transport has very positive effects in Australia. Using public transport like buses, trains and ferries to increase a state productivity saves a lot of resources and also maintains a healthy environment. Although investing in transport may not have a direct and immediate impact on the economy it is estimated to increase profits and save on a lot of resources in a given period. The government of Australia should not only depend on Commonwealth to help in the national transport system, but it should also partner with private entities to ensure that that the system is in operation. The Commonwealth cannot take over the responsibility to fund public transport; it can only assume the responsibility to support the national network of roads but not state and local roads.
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Jarboui, S., Forget, P., & Boujelbene, Y. (2012). Public road transport efficiency: a literature review via the classification scheme. Public Transport, 4(2), 101-128. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12469-012-0055-3
Muñoz, J. (2013). Advanced Systems for Public Transport. Public Transport, 5(1-2), 1-2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12469-013-0074-8
van Oort, N. (2016). Incorporating enhanced service reliability of public transport in cost-benefit analyses. Public Transport, 8(1), 143-160. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12469-016-0121-3