Public transport is top transport concern for Australians

Australians remain more concerned about improving public transport than improving roads, the latest quarterly transport survey from the University of Sydney shows.

More than half of those surveyed in the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies-Interfleet Transport Opinion Survey (TOPS) said improving public transport was Australia's highest transport priority, with less than a quarter saying better roads should be the top priority.

The findings from the survey of 1,000 adults across Australia suggest Australians are looking towards sustainable transport solutions, says Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies Director Professor David Hensher.

The latest survey results show only one in five Australians think transport in their local area has improved in the last year, with a similar number saying transport in their local area will improve in the next year.

The longer term continues to offer more hope, with 45 per cent of respondents believing transport in Australia will be better five years down the track.

"There is still notable variance in optimism when this figure is broken down by state," says Professor Hensher. "Pessimism about the five-year prognosis has increased most in Western Australia since March, perhaps reflecting the change of government in that state. WA is now almost on par with the most pessimistic state, NSW, in terms of sentiment towards transport in Australia in the next five years. On the positive side, Queenslanders and South Australians are the most optimistic about transport in Australia being better in five years."

Professor Hensher says Australians' appetite for private sector involvement in public transport is still high, particularly in NSW. Victorians remain the least amenable to private sector intervention in public transport.

The quarterly TOPS, the first survey to measure transport opinions on a regular basis, is a reliable indicator of Australians' ongoing confidence about transport in their local area and transport in Australia.

The Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies in the Faculty of Economics and Business provides education and conducts research in transport, logistics and supply chain management.

Interfleet Technology is one of the world's leading rail consultancy groups providing strategic, operational, management and technical services to the international rail industry.

The June 2010 quarterly report is available at: <http://sydney.edu.au/business/itls/tops>.

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