Most federal governments of developed countries contribute to public transport infrastructure.
Environment Victoria has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement to introduce subsidies for LPG conversion and ethanol fuels but their sustainable transport campaigner Ben Smith says Australia is one of the only countries in the developed world where the federal government doesn’t contribute funds to public transport infrastructure and this would be one way to beat rising petrol prices. He says:
“The Federal Government must look at a broad range of options to tackle this fuel crisis and cannot continue to ignore public transport.”
“Instead of being addicted to our cars and at the mercy of high fuel prices, we could instead have quick, reliable public transport services that reduce traffic congestion and help cut greenhouse gas and air pollution.”
“Even the Bush Administration is investing billions in partnership with the states to boost public transport usage.”
“It’s time the Howard Government started sharing the costs with the states to build new and expand existing train services particularly in outer metropolitan areas where the rising cost of fuel is hurting families most.”
Ben Smith finishes with an excellent suggestion:
“The Federal Government should also promote public transport use by making monthly and yearly tickets fully tax deductible for individuals and extending fringe benefits tax concessions to businesses that provide their employees with public transport tickets.”
Practical and sensible don’t you think?