By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2019
Almost half of South Australians rarely or never use public transport, an RAA survey has found.
With motorists preferring to drive their cars rather than take the bus, tram or train, we asked South Australians what they thought of their public transport system, and which projects they’d like to see completed in the future.
The RAA Public Transport study, which surveyed 1077 South Australians, found the most common reason people aren’t using public transport is because there’s no direct route from their destination to their home.
RAA Future Mobility Expert Mark Borlace said there needed to be better first and last-mile connections to public transport.
“In many cases, public transport users need to walk or drive from their homes to a bus stop or train station,” Mr Borlace said.
At the other end of their trip, they might have to walk a considerable distance again.
“To help ease the burden of travelling to and from public transport, first and last-mile connections, like scooters and ride sharing, are really important and need to be available.”
Almost half of respondents said they’d be willing to walk about 1km to a bus stop, however if it was 2km away, only a third would choose to walk.
Lack of connectivity and direct services weren’t the only concerns survey participants raised about the state’s public transport network.
Regional respondents said they rarely or never used public transport because it was unreliable and services were lacking.
One survey participant said it was difficult to travel from Strathalbyn to the CBD because public transport was infrequent, expensive and time consuming.
Half the regional residents who were surveyed said expanding train services would improve public transport in rural South Australia. A quarter said improving community transport services in their local area would be beneficial for residents.
The most important potential transport infrastructure project, according to survey respondents, was a tram extension between the CBD and Adelaide Airport.
This was followed by an extension of the tram line to North Adelaide. Proposed tram extensions along Prospect Rd and Unley Rd were seen as less important.
Following the recent extension of the tram line in the CBD to the east end, RAA decided to ask survey respondents their opinion of the new route.
Participants had a mediocre response to its effectiveness in improving access across Adelaide with the new line receiving an average score of 5 out of 10.