Jan 20, 2015

Abbott costing commuters more

Tony Abbott’s refusal to fund public transport is costing Australian commuters who would prefer to catch a bus or train to work thousands of dollars in lost savings each year.

A new report published by the Australasian Railway Association shows commuters who drive to work each day could save up to $12,600 a year simply by switching to public transport.

60 per cent of Australia’s 9.8 million strong workforce drive to work each day. Many of those would choose to take public transport, if they had that option.

The report, The Costs of Commuting: An Analysis of Potential Commuter Savings published, shows drivers in Melbourne and Brisbane face the highest costs of car ownership and stand to save the most.

Yet under Tony Abbott many have no alternative because of his cuts to public transport, including $3 billion slashed from the Melbourne Metro and $715 million cut from the Cross River Rail.

In 2009 Mr Abbott outlined his wacky views on public transport in his book Battlelines when he said:

Mostly there just aren’t enough people wanting to go from a particular place to a particular destination at a particular time to justify any vehicle larger than a car and cars need roads.

Australians facing longer commutes, increasing congestion and less time with their families each day because of his weird hang-up may beg to differ.

In contrast, Labor believes in investing in both roads and rail to deliver integrated urban transport systems that ensure our cities are more productive, sustainable and liveable.

The former Labor Government doubled the roads budget and invested more in public transport than all previous Commonwealth Governments combined.