Sunday, 13 January 2008

Public Transport vs Private Transport

On the weekend, my family and I decided to take a trip into the Melbourne city for the day. We lived about 45 mins to 50 mins drive out of the city, and typically we would take the car. We usually take car as it is more convenient because we can take our two year old home whenever we want rather than to depend on the public transport.

The public transport system in Melbourne is divided into two zones, zone 1 ( which covers the inner city suburbs) and zone 2 ( which covers the outer suburbs). It only just recently that it became two zones, it used to be have a third zone covering the middle suburbs.

On the day of our travel, it cost the family $20.20 for the public transport cost, plus about $2.00 for driving the car to the train station. If we had driven the car into the city, it would have cost $10 for parking, plus about $10.00 for fuel cost of the car. I have neglected the cost of maintenances, insurance etc.

So the cost are $22.20 for public transport vs $20.00 for private transport.

In some ways, it is not extremely compelling for the un-frequent traveling public to use the public transport system given that costing is very similar. In the future, when the cost of fuel increases to something crazy like $3.00 per litre, public transport may be a bit more attractive. However, for the frequent travelers, they have made the switch to public transport already.

Personally, I like traveling on public transport as I know that I am helping with traffic congestion problems and the environment, and it is also much safer than being on driving on the road.

Everyone's situation will be different. Which mode of transport would you prefer, and for what reasons?

photo credit: Benjamin Diehl

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