Transport Tuesday by Holly Royce
Now might be a good time to tell you a little bit about myself.
I am a newcomer to the 1 Million Women team, and a relative newcomer to Sydney. I am 23 years old and have never had a driver’s licence. I grew up in Coffs Harbour, where the public transport can be rather… uncertain. I utilized it though, because I had to. Now, after four years of living in Newcastle I have come to Sydney and have never found it easier to get from A to B.
I’m not the only one, here at 1 Million Women headquarters we have Felicity, 22, who has also never had a licence, and says she would never trade her ferry ride to work for anything. We also have Sarah who always chooses to catch the train and Bronte, who chooses to walk whenever possible. Both of them are in their 20’s.
We are all in the increasing number of young people who have chosen not to drive, relying instead on public transport. The rise, easy use and availability of public transport related apps are having a direct effect on the amount of young people who are choosing not to get their licences.
A study conducted last year by the Frontier Group on motor trends, shows the share of 14- to 34-year-olds without a driver’s licence was at 26 percent in 2010, up from 21 percent in 2000. Dutzik, who conducted the study, explains that remaining connected with smartphones for their entire transit is a large reason for this jump.
It is also my pleasure to report that the study found “Young people are more interested in saving the planet”, though the economy remains the biggest factor. For young people, it’s simply cheaper and easier to get around on public transport.
Of course, we know public transport is not easier for everyone.
Below is a video from our Woman of the Moment, Wendy Machin giving those of us who can’t take our foot off the pedal advice on how to drive greener, leaner and smarter.
You can also have your say about how we use our roads in the NRMA Seeing Red Survery.
Why is it important?
For most of us the convenience of jumping in our car and going wherever we want is hugely appealing, although in practice it’s not always so easy in traffic-jammed cities, it’s often expensive, and it can be very polluting.
A 2005 report for the Business Council of Australia estimated road congestion costs by 2015 at $30 billion a year for Australia.
In 2007 the Federal Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics put the avoidable costs of congestion on Australian roads at $9.4 billion in 2005 rising to over $20 billion by 2020. The 2020 figure includes private time costs of $7.4 billion, business time costs of $9 billion, extra vehicle operating costs of $2.4 billion and extra air pollution costs of $1.5 billion.
At the same time the latest climate modeling for the NSW Government suggests dangerous ozone pollution in Sydney will be an almost daily occurrence by 2030, with vehicle emissions a key issue. The Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics has estimated that air pollution from cars is killing 2000 people a year already, with 4 out of 10 deaths in Sydney.
1 Million Women has teamed up with the NRMA to give you the opportunity to win one of two electric bicycles!
Simply click on the picture below to enter.
These bikes are perfect for those of us who have a hilly journey that might have been a deterrent, or for those of us who want to ease our way into a greener transport style.
We are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers getting on with practical climate action to live better for us and the planet. Join the movement at www.1millionwomen.com.au