1. Why some people use more public transport in some areas and why less people use public transport in some areas?
2. What are the factors affecting the public transport trips? Example: Income, frequency, distance, travel time, Location etc.
1. People in Australia use more public transport in some areas due to the following reasons:
Public Transport helps in cultivating a sense of community amongst the travelers who regularly travel using public means of transport and it further encourages people to adopt a healthy lifestyle specifically if they are cycling or walking to their destination and it reduces the risk of major casualties and injuries caused due to car accidents (Ptv.vic.gov.au 2016).
Public transport is one of the sources of commutation that is accessible to everyone irrespective of any kind of demographics such as income, age or location and availability of public transport in abundance throughout Australia gives boost to its usage by general public (Abs.gov.au 2016). Travelling in a public transport is more economical than owning a car for the people having low income level and further the increase in usage of public transport such as train and metro rail reduces road congestion and also helps in reducing pollution (smh.com.au 2016).
Less people rely on the usage of public transport in Australia due to the following reasons:
The main reason for not using public transport was the availability of service at a convenient time for the commuters who use public transport to get to college or work. The time taken to travel using public transport is reportedly very high as compared to private transport (Abs.gov.au 2016). Many people did not prefer using public transport for travelling was the less distance which could be covered using a bicycle or walk. In the recent times, the commuters in Australian states are annoyed due to inadequate public transport services at very high price. The commuters are forced to wait for almost an hour for buses in Melbourne city (news.com.au 2016). Many sub-group such as physically disabled and indigenous people, senior citizen in the society do not sufficient transport facilities that are located in the sub-urban areas where there is limited or not transport facilities to support their convenience to travel to the main cities. Sometimes the government does not pay attention to their problems of transportation.
2. The various factors that affect the public transport trips are stated below:
- Time and Convenience: One of the major reasons for the success as well as the failure of public transport is its availability as per travelers’ time and convenience. General public rely heavily on public transport more commuting to their office or college. Office hours are considered as the peak time when public transport should operate in large number so that it can meet the rising demand by the commuters. Unavailability and delay in the services could hamper the performance of both the government and the public. The public may lose their precious time and the government may lose a major chunk of revenue in terms of fares (Berechman 2013).
- Distance and Speed: Travelers who choose public transport expects that the public transport covers greater distance to cover larger geographical locations for their convenience. Speed is also one of the major factors that is highly anticipated by the travelers as they need to reach their destinations (school, college or office) at a stipulated time.
- Availability: The demand for public transport is highly influenced by its availability. In case, the transport is not available as per commuter’s convenience, they may look for a better alternative at a cheaper or similar price range.
- Cost: The most critical determinant that has a direct influence on the profitability of the public transport services is how effectively it has set the cost for the travelers. The cost should be such which could bring about a balance in terms that the service provider could recover all their operational expenses and the fare should not be overpriced.
- Income: Commuters tends to choose various modes of public transport depending on their income level. For example, low income groups and students would prefer travelling in trains or buses whereas middle and high income groups would prefer to travel by rental cars or metro rail (Small 2013).
- Frequency: Increase in frequency of public transport services will attract more and more travelers who intend to travel using public transport. Alternatively, decline in the frequency of public transport services will directly impact the financial performance of the service providers as well the travelers (Truong and Somenahalli 2015).
- Service Quality: One of the most important factors that define the performance in the service industry is the quality of service that is being offered by the service provider. Having a good quality of service and maintaining is very crucial for the success in the long run. The service provider should continue to benchmark its service standards for sustainable growth.
- Reliability: It refers to the level of dependability and trustworthiness of travelers towards a specific means of public transport service. The dependability of public transport increases when it is easily accessible and frequently available. On the other hand, the delayed times and reduced frequency will directly impact on the reliability factor towards the public transport.
- Social and Demographic Factors: The factors such as change in the demand trend of people and increase in population is a factor that has a great influence on the performance of public transport. Inability to identify and meet the changing demand would hamper the performance of the service provider.
Abs.gov.au. (2016). 4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 2008. [online] Available at: https://abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/[email protected]/Lookup/4102.0Chapter10102008 [Accessed 7 Nov. 2016].
Berechman, J., 2013. Public transit economics and deregulation policy. Elsevier.
news.com.au. (2016). Australia, your transport sucks. [online] Available at: https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-ideas/australias-public-transport-is-a-shambles-and-weve-had-enough/news-story/f1a8538eace3426a96e730e10e48aa72 [Accessed 7 Nov. 2016].
Ptv.vic.gov.au. (2016). Benefits of public transport - Public Transport Victoria. [online] Available at: https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/about-ptv/media-centre/student-media-enquiries/benefits-of-public-transport/ [Accessed 7 Nov. 2016].
Small, K., 2013. Urban transportation economics (Vol. 4). Taylor & Francis.
smh.com.au. (2016). Think you pay too much for public transport? Think again.. [online] Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/public-transport-in-australian-cities-among-the-worlds-most-affordable-20150928-gjwkah.html [Accessed 7 Nov. 2016].
Truong, L.T. and Somenahalli, S.V., 2015. Exploring frequency of public transport use among older adults: A study in Adelaide, Australia. Travel Behaviour and Society, 2(3), pp.148-155.