The recent editorial on The Age in regards to public transport is telling.
The figures for rail patronage clearly show that given a service — reliable, comfortable and inexpensive — people will use it. Two other factors have a strong bearing on public transport: the rising cost of petrol and emissions from vehicles. Cars and trucks not only choke the roads, they choke the atmosphere.
It may seem a small byway in the argument, but the fiasco of the proposed bike ban on trains, illustrates a telling point in why clear-headed thinking is needed. Ms Kosky is to review her ban after she said yesterday that she had been “misinformed” by her department. (On the same day, the Government announced a $52 million upgrade of Clifton Hill station.)
Of all the options a government could take in the transport sector, moving against the most environmentally friendly set of wheels on the road was madness. What message could people derive from the ban but that the Government not only did not care about sustainability but actually worked against it? It is welcome news that the minister is reviewing the ban, but there should not have been a need for it in the first place.
What is true for Melbourne is true for most cities around the world. In my recent visit to India, it was clearly evident that public transport is the solution and that has the least amount of focus from policy.