Why commuters shun public transport: RACQ

A new RACQ survey has revealed COVID-19 had driven commuters away from catching the bus, train and ferry, prompting calls for an integrated public transport authority to find solutions to moving locals around our cities safely.

The Courier Mail reported 15 percent of commuters told RACQ they would use public transport less after the pandemic, with many citing health concerns around infection of coronavirus, and a reduced need to travel.

RACQ’s Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said of those who said they would catch public transport less indicated, on average, it would be about three days fewer per week.

“What people told us is that they had real worries about COVID-19 and the transmission of germs, as well as the availability of seating with social distancing and the availability of services,” Dr Michael said.

“The concern there is that people won't go back to public transport once those health threats are alleviated.”

Dr Michael said the Club was calling on politicians to commit to an integrated public transport authority in a bid to optimise attractiveness and efficiency of services by providing practicalalternatives to the car for locals to get around.

“We have too many siloed government bodies looking after our public transport but if we had one aligned organisation, we could more easily reform the system to deliver more reliable and connected services which would help encourage commuters back,” she said.

“We are at crossroads at the moment; people are changing the way they work and travel, so we need to do everything we can to encourage more sustainable transport practices like riding bikes, or walking or catching public transport.

“It’s why were also calling on politicians to commit to delivering connected and safe cycling routes on all State road upgrades which provide a high level of service and attractiveness.

“It’s high time we saw a real focus on promoting active transport to keep people out of cars when they don’t need to be, which will in turn drive down congestion.”

RACQ’S State Election priorities could be viewed here.