Thursday, September 15, 2011

The hidden costs of cars - Things that go away with free transit

Public transport's a safe investment - Opinion - Editorial - General - The Canberra Times: "The widespread use of cars comes with growing direct and indirect costs to taxpayers. Governments must continually build new roads and maintain existing ones as they deteriorate. Valuable real estate must be set aside for car parks, rather than be put to more productive uses. Traffic gridlock costs businesses through lost productivity and, in some industries, significantly higher prices; the federal Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics estimates congestion losses in Australia will amount to more than $20 billion a year by 2020. And every year that the bureau has examined the social costs of road crashes - health-care expenses, infrastructure damage, legal bills and policing and emergency services - it has found the amount dwarfs the revenue raised through rego fees, fuel excises and all other motoring-related taxes. Cars are a far costlier habit than most of us realise, because we never see a bill that lists their true price."

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