The Eastern Transport Coalition has recently commissioned a survey by the Australian Research Group into the views of residents about the problems with transport in their area.

Cr Mick Van de Vreede said that cars are overwhelmingly the most used form of transport in the outer east and residents have very poor knowledge of what other transport options there may be.

“It’s quite clear from the results of the survey that more needs to be done to give people transport options other than the private vehicle.

“It would be better for the environment and the family budget if they didn’t have to rely on cars to get around all of the time.

“Not surprisingly, road congestion is a big problem in our area, 40 per cent of respondents reported encountering a very high level of congestion on major roads with another 47 per cent reporting a high level.

“The link between people having public transport options and their understanding of congestion as an issue was clear. A comparatively low 29 per cent of respondents living in Chisholm (Box Hill, Burwood, Mount Waverly and Oakleigh) thought there was a very high level of congestion on major roads.

By contrast, Aston has high levels of congestion and low levels of public transport use.

“This shows that if people have decent public transport options they won’t be as concerned or affected by on road congestion.

“The survey also showed that when people have public transport as a real option they would be more likely to use it. Residents in Chisholm reported the most frequent use of public transport with 12 per cent saying they used it every day and 21 per cent using it several times a week.

“This was in contrast to respondents in the Federal electorate of LaTrobe (Belgrave, Berwick, Boronia Upper Ferntree Gully and Mount Dandenong) which were less likely to use public transport. In their cases only 16 per cent saying they used it at least once a week. One third said they never use public transport.

The survey also showed that we have a long way to go to meet goals to increase public transport use.

“Currently only 15 per cent of people use public transport as the primary means of travel to work and only 10 per cent for use it when it comes to not work trips.

“The State Government has a target of 20 per cent of trips by public transport by 2020 which is a goal we support, but a much greater level of investment in new public transport is needed.

“In our view Federal Government, in addition to the role played by the State Government, should play a role by increasing the availability of public transport. They currently provide funds for some major road capacity expansion projects and those funds should also be able to be used for major public transport projects which will reduce levels of congestion – for instance train and tram lines extensions,” Cr Van de Vreede concluded.

The sample for the survey was 1000 people in the Federal electorates within the ETC member Councils area.

Selected results:

  • More than two in every three respondents travel to work by car (71%) with 68% driving themselves and a further 3% travelling as passengers.Only 15% say they use public transport as their primary form of transport to work.
  • More than 70% of those surveyed said that they used public transport once a month or less. Only 8% use it every day.
  • Almost two thirds (64%) of respondents described their level of knowledge about public transport in their area as average or below. Only 9% described it as very high.
  • 40% of respondents reported encountering a very high level of congestion on major roads. A further 47% reported a high level.
  • 70% of respondents believe the State and Federal Governments should work together to fix congestion problems on major roads.

For more information please contact;

ETC Chairperson Cr Mick Van De Vreede        0438 029 932
CPR Communications, Robert Larocca            0409 198 350