Friday, September 25, 2009

It is simple math in Sydney, Australia

...Glazebrook estimated that the real cost to the community of Sydney’s reliance on private transport was more than $41 billion in 2006. About half of this was borne by the user — $18 billion was borne by the public.

Glazebrook puts the real cost of car use at 86 cents per passenger-kilometre, when all externalities are factored in. The real cost of train travel is only 47 cents for the same distance, said a study he published on March 19.

Replacing each passenger trip by car with train travel saves society almost half the resources and creates half the pollution. But how do we encourage people to make the switch?

In 1996, the Belgian city of Hasselt made public transport free. Between 1996 and 2006, usage of public transport increased by as much as 1300%.

In Sydney, making public transport free would cost the state government about $1 billion a year.GreenLeftAustralia

[see also the new blog: Fare-Free Australia]