The Eastern Transport Coalition commissioned a report examining the feasibility of federal funding for urban public transport. The report has found that Federal involvement in urban public transport is feasibility and desirable due to the economic, social, environmental and governance benefits that it would provide.
Furthermore Federal funding for urban public transport infrastructure is consistent with global trends, with Australia remaining the only OECD nation where Federal involvement is not provided.
Urban public transport is important to the economy, the environment and serves as an important tool in moving people safely and efficiently to access employment, training and recreational opportunities.
National governments in all OECD countries fund urban public transport infrastructure in partnership with local and regional state governments – Australia is the only exception. For example, in the U.S, the national government is contributing to over 100 public transport projects in partnership with the states, and it provides approximately 50% of capital funding for public transport projects.
Whilst it is acknowledged that running public transport services is universally considered a state responsibility, most developed nations recognise that part of the costs required to establish infrastructure projects is met by national governments.
The Australian government is empowered by the Land Transport Act (Commonwealth) to fund public transport projects, and has done so in the past.
The Eastern Transport Coalition calls federal political parties to develop a policy framework that facilitates the assessment and funding of public transport infrastructure projects in partnership with the states. The development of such a process and then allocated funding to resource it, would demonstrate a strong national commitment to sustainability and international competitiveness of our major cities.