Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wednesday Forum: improving public transport

This Wednesday Forum focuses on public transport in New England, looking for information and suggestions.

In Results from Wednesday's forum on overcoming division, I reported on a comment from Lynne about the costs of Bellingen-Armidale buses and the absence of public transport between Armidale and Tamworth. I suggested that one outcome of the progressive centralisation of services might be forced depopulation of some areas if rising transport costs associated with peak oil stopped people using cars to get to the services.

In  one of my Express columns, Belshaw's World - inner city dwellers put the choke on car ownership, I mentioned the increased costs of getting and maintaining a drivers license, of buying and maintaining a car. I suggested that this most disadvantaged those most dependant on the car and especially those on lower incomes.

In Ancient Thera, I mentioned in passing the extensive bus services on the small Greek island of Santorini.

Three very different posts, but with linked themes.

At present, discussions on public transport in NSW are dominated by Sydney. However, Sydney trains as an example, may be hot, not run on time, but they exist. The great majority of taxpayer funds spent on public transport are spent in Sydney. There is no comparison between Sydney public transport and that existing (non-existing) across much of New England.

We have a NSW election coming up in March. Based on experience, issues associated with public transport are unlikely to get a mention. I would like to change that.

To help thinking, what is public transport like in your area. What would you like to see done to promote better public transport?  

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