Melbourne worst at public transport us

Melbourne workers are the biggest car users in Australia, with more than one million people driving to work each day.

A University of Melbourne study has revealed that while Sydney has 190,000 more people than Melbourne travelling to work each day, Melburnians drive 8,000 more cars.

There are 1,027,149 Melbourne drivers – or 73 per cent of commuters – and 1,019,000 Sydney drivers or 63.4 per cent of commuters.

University of Melbourne researcher John Stone said Melbourne had the biggest decline in public transport use in Australia.

“Melburnians have been given more freeways and worse public transport … and they make their choice,” Mr Stone said.

The Metropolitan Transport Forum (MTF) is urging Melburnians to get out of their cars and onto bikes or public transport in a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

MTF chair Janet Rice said without better transport, there was little hope of meeting greenhouse emission reduction targets.

“If we’re going to be serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we’ve got to get people out of their cars and using public transport and get people into walking and cycling to work,” Ms Rice said.

Ms Rice said a concerted effort was needed to make the switch to environmentally friendly travel, with commuters kicking normal driving habits.

Mr Stone revealed the Melbourne transport figures after assessing the Australian government’s Census figures from 1976 to 2006.

Mr Stone said Melbourne had built more freeways than any other Australian city, which encouraged people to drive.

“We need to stop the massive freeway building which has seen Melbourne build the greatest length of freeways of any city in Australia,” Mr Stone said.

“If you make driving easy, then we’ll do it.”

To reduce the environmental effects, Mr Stone said better planning and coordination of the public transport system was urgently needed.

“While it is important that people cycle and walk, we really need to have better conditions for cycling and walking,” Mr Stone said.

“Three times more people walk to work, rather than cycle.

“And the frequency and connections (of public transport) need to be improved.”

Mr Stone said train travel needed to be comfortable and attractive, which would encourage people to leave their cars at home.

“The (Melbourne) trains are probably the dirtiest in Australia,” he said.



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