Commuters Surge Onto Sydney Public Transport  

Posted by Big Gav

The SMH reports that congestion charges, the economic downturn, the lingering memory of last year's high oil prices and environmental concerns are driving Sydney commuters onto public transport - 22 million more trips on public transport.

A GROWING number of Sydney commuters are abandoning their cars in favour of trains and buses as economic and environmental concerns bite, with experts predicting the start of a fundamental, long-term shift in travel behaviour.

Sydneysiders undertook about 22 million more train and bus journeys last year than the year before, and tens of thousands of people have abandoned the two main roads into the city this year.

As petrol prices soared and some commuters paid more than $10 each way in tolls, CityRail experienced a 5.7 per cent increase in patronage - about 17 million individual journeys - from December 2007 to December 2008.

There were also 5.6 million more trips on State Transit buses - up 3 per cent - despite the fact that many services, particularly those in the inner city and eastern suburbs, are already packed to capacity.

Public transport use is expected to swell further with the long-delayed opening of the Epping to Chatswood rail link tomorrow. ...

Nationwide research commissioned by Victorian transport authority Metlink shows a growing number of people switched from using cars to public transport last year, due in part to high petrol prices. Among the Sydneysiders surveyed, 62 per cent said they were substituting car use with train, bus, or ferry travel

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