Australians reject carbon tax on bus fuel
28 September 2011
Almost two-thirds of Australians don't want the federal government to include fuel for buses in the carbon tax scheme, the latest quarterly national transport survey from the University of Sydney shows.
While household vehicles will be exempt from the tax, bus operators will have to pay it from 2014. In the September 2011 quarter of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS)-Interfleet Transport Opinion Survey (TOPS) 63 percent of Australians said fuel for buses should be excluded.
This result is consistent with other responses showing strong support for public transport, ITLS Director Professor David Hensher says. In each of the quarterly surveys to date about half of Australians nominate public transport as the nation's highest transport priority, twice as many as those who say road improvements are the most pressing transport issue.
"A carbon tax will increase the cost of travelling on buses and, coupled with the exemption for household vehicles, creates a disincentive for people to use public transport. Clearly this creates a distortion at odds with other public policies to increase public transport patronage."
Professor Hensher says Australians' confidence in transport in their local area increased slightly on last quarter's results, due largely to an improvement in confidence in Victoria.
Confidence about transport nationally remained constant, with 48 percent of respondents saying transport would improve across Australia in the next five years. "We will continue to monitor community confidence each quarter," Professor Hensher says.
The first national survey to measure transport opinions on a regular basis, TOPS is a reliable indicator of Australians' ongoing confidence about transport in their local area and transport in Australia.
The ITLS in the University of Sydney Business School 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.
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