Welcome to Future Transport Tasmania

We are here to lobby for better public transport and rail infrastructure in Tasmania. We aim to find solutions to allow all Tasmanians to have environmentally responsible and affordable commuting options to get around our state and towns. A more detailed mission statement can be found in the left column or <here>.

Find our articles below, starting with the most recent ones first:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Car vs Bus

A great letter from Metro Tasmania CEO Heather Haselgrove in today's Mercury.

She writes in response to a letter by a member of the public claiming it is cheaper to travel by car from Kingston to Hobart.

(letter abridged)

"As the writer says, comparisons need to count all the costs as accurately as possible. When you use a Greencard, the cost of a Metro full adult fare for the weekly return trip from Kingston reduces to $36.80, due to the 25 percent bonus credit you receive. Independent information available from the RACT shows that the weekly cost of driving a car from Kingston to Hobart and return is significantly higher. Based on the RACT information, to the (MOP's) estimated average of $21 a week for fuel, you must add $2 per week for tyres, $6 per week for annual service and $39 per week for registration, insurance and stamp duty. That comes to a total of $68 per week. On top of that, many would need to add about $40 per week for parking.

Presently services from Kingston during the peak commuting times of 7.10am until 8.30am run about every seven or eight minutes. In the evenings, services from Hobart to Kingston run about every 15 minutes. I think this clearly demonstrates that, both in terms of cost and convenience, the Metro service is miles ahead.

Of course we always strive to do things better and Metro will soon take posession of four new buses which will help improve the quality of services and address any overcrowding."

Heather Haselgrove

CEO, Metro Tasmania

So as the lady says, catching the bus could save you plenty of dollars!

Check out http://www.metrotas.com.au/ for more information on Metro bus services.

After all, the first thing any of us who want more and better public transport can do is - CATCH THE BUS!

MEDIA RELEASE from last month

Saturday 5th March 2011


Four-lane Midland Highway will not solve Tasmania’s infrastructure problems

Community-based public and transport advocacy group, Future Transport Tasmania (FTT), today acknowledged the new chair of the Tasmanian Infrastructure Advisory Council (TIAC), Philip Clark AM has a big job ahead him, and criticised governments for ignoring rail funding over politically weighted road projects. FTT believes that it is time for the massive imbalance of road funding versus rail to end, and for rail to be given priority.

FTT acknowledged that the TIAC will be looking at a number of options but does not believe that rail is a single project, but should become the priority area, as it is so deficient compared to the state’s roads.

Future Transport Tasmania spokesperson Toby Rowallan said: “A four lane Midland Highway will not cost two billion dollars, not four billion but eight billion dollars by the time it is finished. The Brighton Bypass alone is going to cost over $300 million and it is only a comparatively small section, so it is easy to see the potential costs blow out. Further massive road infrastructure spending is good money virtually thrown away. For two billion dollars we could have the best railway network in the country if not comparable to the world’s best, with fast passenger trains from Hobart to Launceston, several times per day, that would take perhaps an hour.”

“At the moment some people are saying they want a four-lane highway because of safety, because of potholes, because of heavy trucks and other slow traffic. What we read into that is that people want to be able to drive fast or at least get to their destination fast. What we are saying is that for far less than the cost of a four-lane highway we could have a rail service that is far faster than the road, so that all of the slow traffic and all of the heavy freight would be on the rail. The added benefit would be that it is far safer if you are fatigued, you would be on the train and you would get there faster. On the train it would be much safer, more comfortable and relaxed. Freight trains would be much faster and would be much more competitive with the trucks. So there would be less heavy trucks pounding the highway into a crumble and so the government would save on highway maintenance, currently almost $60 million per year.”

“The only clear benefit from a four lane highway would be the highway maintenance department and those who like to drive their cars very fast. With the reality of peak oil looming large on the near horizon, with the extremely high fuel prices that will come, building more highways is nothing short of insanity. Many may say that the car manufacturers will rise to the occasion and build hydrogen cars and electric cars. This may well be true, but there has been no work done on a potential change-over of millions of cars around the world suddenly becoming obsolete and needing to be replaced. Tasmania could be prepared for this but it is not. It is time for that to change,” finished Mr Rowallan.

Contacting Future Transport Tasmania

For further information:
Toby Rowallan (secretary) 0418 997 069

Mailing address:
Future Transport Tasmania
Bathurst St. Post Office
PO Box 4515
Hobart 7000