An efficient public transport system is an essential part of a sustainable community.
Public transport and the environment
The Australian transport sector annually accounts for around 90 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (measured in CO2-e or carbon dioxide equivalent). This represents around 16 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions – making transport the second largest emitting sector after power generation.
Cars and other light vehicles make up more than half of transport emissions – equal to around 10 per cent of Australia’s total emissions.
Riding the bus, train and ferry is fun, fast and eco-friendly. There are many benefits of switching from car to public transport, as outlined below.
Environmental and cost benefits
Perth is rapidly growing and beginning to experience the same transport issues larger cities face around the world, such as increased congestion, increased costs of owning a car and driving, increased parking costs, and an increased social awareness of sustainable living.
The average commuting distance in Perth is 30km. Driving this distance daily, to and from work by car, generates around two tonnes of greenhouse gases a year.
Switching from car to public transport to commute to and from work will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions and could save you approximately $5500 a year.
Community and economy benefits
Public transport is a key factor in effective social inclusion. It affords the public a reliable, safe and cost effective means of accessing health, employment and education services. This is especially the case for low income earners, the unemployed, seniors and people with disabilities.
Urban traffic congestion is a major impediment to productivity. The Bus Industry Confederation has estimated the avoidable cost of urban traffic congestion in Australian capital cities to be $12.9 billion in 2010 and in excess of $20 billion by 2020. By using public transport you can help reduce traffic congestion.
Transperth can move 50,000 people an hour along one of its rail lines. Compare this with a Kwinana or Mitchell freeway lane which can only move 2,500 people an hour. Think about how much slower your rush hour crawl along the freeway to or from the city would be if it wasn’t for the many thousands of commuters on Transperth trains.
A full bus load of passengers can take more than 50 cars off the road; and a full passenger train carrying 1000 people can take 800 cars off the road – equivalent to a 5km line of traffic.