"Speeding towards dangerous climate change" was the name of the public forum at which the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) launched its "Every Ten Minutes to Everywhere" campaign on June 15.
PTUA president Daniel Bowen explained that 10 minutes is the longest that people are prepared to wait for public transport, otherwise they decide that it is more convenient to use a car.
The forum was introduced by climate policy analyst and co-founder of Carbon Equity David Spratt. Spratt outlined the extensive scientific evidence that the global warming crisis is far worse than official reports and governments have indicated, and that we're almost at the point of no return.
Other speakers were Dr Paddy Moriarty, a transport specialist from Monash University, and Elliot Fishman, a policy advisor with the Cycling Promotion Fund.
Bowen pointed out that the family car is responsible for half of a household's annual greenhouse gas emissions.
Public transport is working for travel into Melbourne's CBD, with 80% of trips taken by public transport, but it is failing in the suburbs where 91% of trips are by car. The typical half-hour wait for a bus is long enough to take an entire trip by car. Outside of peak hours, only a tiny part of the network gets a service every 15 minutes.
The PTUA proposal is for an effective public transport system so that people never need to wait more than 10 minutes for public transport seven days a week until midnight, and for staff at every train station. It also proposes tram extensions and rail extensions to Doncaster, Rowville, Mernda, Sunbury, Melbourne city and Cranbourne East. For the early hours of the morning, it proposes comprehensive night bus networks to depart every half hour along the major routes.