Public Transport:

Public transport is a contentious issue at the moment and it is easy to see why. Conflicting views on every issue revolving around its operation. From different parts of the government, the private business sector and the commuters results in confusion and heated, sometimes baseless, arguments.
The main issues that are being debated are the below 4 points:
• Price.
• Safety.
• Reliability.
• Crowding.
Let’s address each issue separately. First is the Price. How much should a fare cost, can public transport run at a profit and if so should it, are fines more important than the purchase of a ticket and how to stop ticket evasion and the most prominent talking points in this issue.
Firstly let me say that I believe that the price of a ticket is to expensive. Lets take the cost for an all day travel pass zone 1 standard fair. This is the ticket that most people going to work will purchase. The cost is $7 a ticket. That’s $35 a working week. This is far to much for the average worker to have to pay just for transit. People shouldn’t have to sacrifice to go to work. Sure it’s cheaper than petrol for the average drive to the city, but not by enough to make a real difference. I worry that the process wouldn’t change whether there is a privatised system in place or not, as the privatised company would be operating in a monopoly and as we have seen this never bode well for either service or price. I believe that if ticket prices were greatly reduced; let’s say to $4 ticket evading would not occur (so much). As it stands right now ticket evasion comes in at costing the public transport system $80million dollars a year alone. The addition of ticket inspectors have done nothing to stop this flow as they only appear during peak hour, where everyone has learned to buy there tickets.
Continuing on with ticket inspectors, we will now look at safety. The other reason ticket inspectors where brought along were to protect the community of public transport travellers from people looking to hurt injure or disrupt this community. As such this has not occurred, in fact in some cases it is the transport inspectors that have been accused of brutality to commuters.
This is un reasonable, and was reflected in a recent survey conducted by the Sweeney Market Research Company on behalf of the government. It was found that the majority of commuters found them scary, abrasive, intrusive and non responsive to problems on public transport. Many believe that they are not there to protect but more to intimidate passengers so they don’t fare evade. From my experiences I completely concur with this statement and really have nothing to add except that maybe we should either get rid of them or increase their public service training. I think removing them would be best and this could inturn lower the ticket fare.
Reliability is a crucial issue. To many people are left stranded on a daily basis by late or sometimes even non existent trains and trams. Its like they decide not to appear for some reason. This is upsetting as there is almost no warning of this occurring unless you are at the station in question. I believe Social media could help. A twitter account telling people that certain trains will be late or not running would greatly help as most people have access to twitter on their phones now a days. But this is another reason why the price of the tickets is to high. $7 for something that may or may not occur and generally even if it does arrive its 4-10 mins late ridicules the average commuter’s intelligence.
Finally crowding. It is amazing that there are so few trains during peak hour. This has resulted in many commuters being squished and subsequently injured by the overcrowding of peak hour transport. There is nothing else to say except that we are in need of more trains running at the right times and less during the non-peak hour times. A reorganisation of the schedule should be enough to fix this if anyone could be bothered.
If we can’t fix these problems then I fear that public transport will be always a poxy of the modern commuter.


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