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On the Broad Gauge

Life from the West Sunshine State with a transport bent

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cost of PT Privatisation: $1.2 billion and growing

Urban Creatures get the gong for first post on this topic, but there has been a lot happening and I thought it worth a post too.

For those who might not have seen it, the buzz is all about a report produced by a team of four Melbourne academics who have calculated that Melbourne's public transport is costing around $1.2 billion dollars more as a privatized system than it would have, had it stayed in public hands.

The report in question is titled "Putting the public interest back into public transport" and can be found here (pdf).

This report has generated a good deal of press coverage, including

Melbourne: Sunday Age (April 9): "$1.2bn sting in the rail", "Privatised trains, trams on the wrong track"and even an editorial

"Public transport should be returned to public hands"
The Sunday Age maintains that public transport should be free in order to
increase patronage, take the pressure off Melbourne's increasingly gridlocked streets, cut the number of road accidents and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It would be much easier to achieve this under a publicly owned system.

The time has come for Mr Bracks and Mr Batchelor to acknowledge that the predictions they made while in opposition were correct and to act in the interests of all Victorians.
The Herald Sun has reported too (April 11): "Privatisation blamed for $1.2 billion loss"

as have interstate papers

Sydney: Daily Telegraph (April 10): "Transport privatisation a 'failure'"

Not unexpectedly, the key transport advocacy body has supported the report

PTUA Press Release: "Where’s the Doubling in Service?"

Finally, I can do nothing better than quote Urban Creatures again
"Who could possibly argue that the 1.2bn was well spent, given the state of PT in Melbourne?"

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