Sydney transport 'needs $1b a year'

No time for a complete Bullroarer, but this piece of research from Garry Glazebrook at UTS in Sydney deserves coverage:

Sydney transport 'needs $1b a year'

A study by the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) has found Sydneysiders and the NSW Government spent more than $40 billion on cars in 2006, making them by far the most expensive form of transport in the city.

Almost $23 billion was spent on fuel, maintenance, depreciation, insurance, tolls and parking in 2006.

The city's motorists generated a further $18.1 billion in "externality costs" such as congestion, pollution, accidents and subsidies for roads and parking.

Garry Glazebrook, author of the report on the study, published in the Urban Policy and Research Journal, said the NSW Government spent just $3 billion a year on public transport each year.

"We're actually spending, in cold hard cash terms, $23 billion per year, plus we're producing all these other externalities," he said.

"If we switch out of the $23 billion and we switch $1 billion of that out of cars and into public transport, then within 30 years we would have a world-class public transport system."


A congestion tax, such as the recently introduced time-of-day tolling on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, could be effective if it was introduced in combination with building better transport alternatives, Dr Glazebrook said.

The cities of London, Singapore and Stockholm had successfully introduced congestion charges and encouraged people to switch to public transport.

"In the long term, it's actually going to save us money as well as reducing environmental impacts," he said.

I don't live in Sydney, but...

My car has been playing up for some time now. Last week, it stalled time and time agin one day when leaving work. I had to keep the rewvs up to about 2000 to keep it from stalling. Two days later, it refused to start, even with a shot of fuel straight down the carby throat. It finally fired up just as the battery was dying, but ony started actually running under its own steam after about a minute of running the starter motor and gradually increasing engine RPMs. This came on top of months of irregular issues like hunting for fuel above 60km/h. I just can't trust it anymore, so it's parked for the foreseeable future (needs some cancer cut out anyway). I was going to ride my bike to work on Saturday, but when i went to use it, discovere it had a puncture. I had no time to repair it (nor had any spares anyway), so I ended up walking. It took 45 minutes at a brisk walk. It takes 15 minutes in the car, so my average speed in the car must be below 30km/h, thanks to all the traffic lights. I could probably bike there just as fast, and, once I repair the tire, that's exactly what I'll be doing. The car probably won't see more regular useage than once a month or so.

In fact, I'll probably take the opportunity to convert it to a short-range EV, as well as put an elecrtic hub motor on the bike. Two 12V Lead-Acid car batteries will be able to get me from home all the way to my girlfriends house.

I can't recommend biking to work highly enough - chances are it will take the same amount of time as driving if your commute is less than about 6 kms...

Does that 3Billion spent on public transport( $750/person) also include fares collected? or is it on top of $30-50 a week for commuting by public transport?
We need a good mass transit system, for lots of reasons but lets not pretend its going to be less expensive than commuting with private motor vehicles. One extra billion a year is not going to build many km of new rail, and Sydney needs hundreds of kms of new rail if it is to replace a significant proportion of single occupant vehicles commuters.

The planning errors of the past 60 years allowing shopping centers and industrial sites to be built on cheap land remote from rail lines are going to haunt Sydney commuters for the next 100 years.

One extra billion a year is not going to build many km of new rail,

Using the $10m/km estimate, a billion would buy about a hundred kilometres. Nothing to sneeze at, but, yes, we need more.

I was thinking of this project just completed 2009; the first 17km, for 2.31Billion

"The Epping to Chatswood rail link took its first load of passengers on 23 Feberuary. After a string of delays, NSW Premier, Nathan Rees, opened the 17-kilometre link at the new Macquarie University station, declaring the new line to be a "shot in the arm for public transport in Sydney".
The $2.3 billion project includes new stations at North Ryde and Macquarie Park, as well as Macquarie University, and cavernous new underground platforms at Epping and Chatswood stations.
Mr Rees announced today that passengers would travel free on the link for the first 100 days.
However the link will not be integrated into the rest of the CityRail network until the second half of the year, meaning it is effectively a shuttle service for residents from a cluster of Sydney's northern suburbs and there is unlikely to be any reduced congestion on the crowded CityRail network until then. Transport Minister David Campbell said it was standard practice for a new train line to be integrated into a network over time. "

this is why we will never solve transportation only by using mass transit; x10 too expensive