The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) today called on the three major parties to release their public transport policies and to explain how they will address the state’s increasing transport congestion.
RTBU Tasmania Branch Secretary Ric Bean said Tasmanians desperately needed more public transport options, but none of the parties have adequately addressed this pressing issue.
“Public transport is the most efficient way to move large numbers of people around our increasingly congested urban spaces,” Mr Bean said.
“It’s also a vital service for people who can’t, or don’t want to drive, and for connecting our regional towns.
“Public transport policies should be front-and-centre in this State election, but so far we’ve seen nothing in terms of policy announcements. It’s time they put their public transport cards on the table.”
RTBU Bus Division Secretary and bus driver Jody Nichols said key issues for transport included:
Investing in more buses and more drivers;
Reducing traffic congestion by encouraging more people to leave their cars at home and use public or active
Addressing the impact of traffic congestion on buses during peak hours through the use of bus priority
Tackling overcrowding on buses during peak hour by providing more services; and
Providing better infrastructure for public transport users, such as bus shelters, interchanges and park-and-ride facilities.
“Bus overcrowding during school terms has always been a problem, but we’re seeing it more often now,” Mr Nichols said.
“Overcrowding happens right around the state – but the problems are worst in Hobart.
“It’s on school buses where we are leaving kids behind, and it’s on regular service buses where people could be waiting as two or three buses go past because we can’t fit them in.
“One person I picked up recently had missed four passing buses because they were all full.
“Every bus has a limit to what is safe and allowable. If we get to that limit then we are not allowed to fit more passengers on.
“This is obviously a problem when people are relying on buses to get to work or medical appointment, and kids are trying to get to school.
“We simply need more buses at peak times so that kids do not get left behind.”