Category Archives: Federal funding

Federal election – Coalition fails on transport policy

Care about public transport? Then make your vote count this Federal Election. We’ve rated the parties on their transport policies.

PTUA 2013 Federal Election brochure

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has published a score-card for the Federal Election, rating the three biggest parties on their transport policies.

PTUA President Tony Morton said that the Greens excelled with an A, Labor came in with a B for pledging funding to several public transport infrastructure projects around the country, but that the Coalition had rated an F for specifically refusing to fund any urban public transport.
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Three cheers for $3 billion on Melbourne rail – but be flexible and take advice

Uncertainty still shrouds Melbourne’s transport future, says user group

Train at CaulfieldThe Public Transport User Association has backed a $3 billion commitment in the Federal budget to the Melbourne Metro rail project. But with another $6 billion needed from the State Government and the private sector, concerns abound still about the likelihood of the project proceeding, including among public transport advocates.

“The Victorian Coalition Government, defying everything it said before the 2010 election, is intent on putting roads ahead of rail,” said PTUA President Tony Morton. “It wants to spend $6 to $8 billion rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic, shifting traffic bottlenecks from one place to another in Melbourne’s inner north and throwing public money at yet another non-solution. The Gillard Government is to be commended for basing transport funding decisions on merit, and some semblance of independent assessment via Infrastructure Australia.”

“We can see this as Canberra urging the State Government to keep its promise to the Victorian people at the last election, to fix the problems with public transport,” Dr Morton said.
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Cars, public transport must have equal treatment under carbon price

The Public Transport Users Association has called on the Gillard Labor Government to ensure public transport users are not penalised relative to motorists under a future carbon price.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard stated on Sunday that motorists’ fuel purchases would be excluded from a carbon price in perpetuity.

However, the government has not made any guarantees about the effect on public transport costs. If electricity and fuel for trains, buses and trams is subject to a carbon price, as seems likely, public transport operators and authorities may be forced to pass the cost on to passengers through increased fares.
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Regional Rail Link: Many better ways to spend $5bn

JASON Dowling’s defence of the Regional Rail Link (Comment, 22/2) essentially asserts that a project costing about $5 billion must be a good thing.

What began as a line on a map in the Eddington report has evolved secretly and fitfully. We still have no idea how train services will be organised, but we do know that many passengers will actually be disadvantaged by the project as it is configured.

The basic problem is that it tries to be both a regional and a suburban project. New stations at Tarneit will be served by crowded Geelong trains making extra stops. Tarneit residents won’t get the same frequency of service as other metropolitan rail users.
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Billion dollar rail blowout a blessing in disguise

Southern Cross StationThe billion dollar blowout in the construction costs of the Regional Rail Link, reported in the Australian Financial Review today (3 February 2011), could provide the opportunity to revise the project and fix its worst problems, the Public Transport Users Association has said.

Secretary Tony Morton said that well-chosen experts for the proposed new Public Transport Authority could now be appointed to “do the homework” on the Link that had been neglected by the Department of Transport.

The PTUA has previously raised concerns that existing plans would make Geelong trains slower and cut connections to the City loop, the University precinct bus shuttle, and the Upfield, Craigieburn and Werribee suburban train lines. Passengers may have also overloaded the trains serving the proposed new stations.
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It’s a new era of Federal funding, but are these the right projects?

Sprinters at Southern CrossThe Federal Government are to be congratulated for finally putting money into urban public transport, which will cut congestion by getting cars off the road, cut emissions, and give people more sustainable transport choices. But brickbats are due to the Brumby State Government for advancing flawed projects, says the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA).

Despite the name, the Regional Rail Express project funded by the Federal government will help metropolitan train users, by separating out fast and stopping trains, allowing many more trains and better reliability. The lengthening of platforms at stations is also good news for regional and outer-urban passengers.
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Brumby to blame for poor Federal transport priorities

Public transport infrastructure announced for Melbourne in this year’s “nation building” Federal Budget may not deliver any real benefit to passengers – and the Brumby State Government is entirely to blame, says the PTUA.

“All indications are that when it comes to Victorian public transport, Wayne Swan will be ploughing all the available money into the metro rail tunnel,” said PTUA President Daniel Bowen. “But it’s a completely unnecessary project. We have already doubled the capacity of the city’s rail network: we did it in the 1970s, with the City Loop, yet everyone seems to have forgotten. All this new tunnel will do is soak up all the money that should be used to extend rail and bus services into our growing suburbs.”
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BIC: $10 billion to help fix public transport crisis, say experts

The PTUA participated in a media event on Tuesday morning with the Bus Industry Confederation to highlight the need for Federal funding for urban public transport. The BIC media release is below.

July 8, 2008 — $10 BILLION TO HELP FIX PUBLIC TRANSPORT CRISIS SAY EXPERTS

A group of public transport experts today called for a $10 billion investment from the Federal Government to help fix public transport.
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Rudd’s call for public transport relief welcomed

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s call for national investment in public transport to provide relief from high petrol prices.

Mr Rudd was reported as saying “hasn’t the time come for some decent, decent public transport systems, invested in by the national government across our major cities so people don’t burn their petrol prices on the way to work.”[1]

PTUA President Daniel Bowen said it was heartening to see the Prime Minister begin to recognise that a long-term solution to petrol prices was needed, and that this meant shifting travel from cars to public transport.
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