As the population increases and our roads clog up, attention is turning to the use of public transport. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning
As the population increases and our roads clog up, attention is turning to the use of public transport. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning

Why drivers won’t make the switch

COSTS, routes, commuter times and scheduling seem to be holding southeast Queensland drivers back from jumping on public transport, an exclusive poll reveals.

A YouGov Galaxy survey, commissioned by The Courier-Mail as part of our Future SEQ series, found most people would be willing to switch to trains or buses if the system was improved.

Lower fares would be the most effective carrot, the results showed, with 68 per cent of respondents saying that would encourage them to use public transport more often.

As the population increases and our roads clog up, attention is turning to the use of public transport. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning
As the population increases and our roads clog up, attention is turning to the use of public transport. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning

The second most important factor was more lines, routes and stations to make services more accessible. Some 63 per cent of people said that would make public transport more appealing.

And nearly six in 10 people said they could be swayed by greater frequency of services or faster travel times on existing routes.

WHAT WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT? COMMENT BELOW

Cleaner carriages and buses were seen as the least important persuasive at 43 per cent.

And 9 per cent said none of the improvements would make them more likely to get aboard.

Robert Dow from public transport advocates Rail Back On Track said it was clear people were not inherently or inextricably wedded to private vehicles but a cultural shift was required.

"People want frequent, connected, affordable services. It's simple - provide that and they will use it."

 

The YouGove Galaxy poll results.
The YouGove Galaxy poll results.

Mr Dow said TransLink should re-introduce weekly, monthly and annual fare packages, with discounts.

The poll was conducted among 1659 people across southeast Queensland.

It showed that reducing fares was the most attractive option among all ages groups, and particularly strong in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, at 71 per cent.

On the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and rest of the region, the key issue was more lines, routes and stations.

Brisbane Deputy Mayor and transport chairman Adrian Schrinner said: "There is no doubt affordability is the number one issue for passengers and the number one complaint.

"A business would adjust their prices if it was stopping people from buying their product. We need to start looking at public transport in the same way."

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said: "The easier we make it to get around, the more people will want to catch public transport."

The Government was investing in Cross River Rail, Gold Coast light rail and duplicating the Sunshine Coast train line.