Transit lanes must go

Thursday 23 March 2000
PCA Calls for Dedicated Bus Lanes in Time for Olympics

The Chairman of the PCA, Mr Harold Scruby, today congratulated Messrs Carr and Scully for committing the Government to the "Rapid Bus-Only Transit-Way Network", connecting Liverpool, Parramatta, Blacktown and Castle Hill.

But he added: "They should now bite the bullet and go all the way." He said: "Sydney's traffic problems are chronic and will only get worse. Sydney's Transit Lanes do not work. Up to 75% of drivers using them are doing so illegally. This is because enforcement is so difficult and expensive. Police are required to pull over suspected offenders to ascertain the carriage of the required number of occupants. There are few sites where this is feasible and most miscreants know of and simply avoid these locations.

"The average bus carries 70 persons. This is the equivalent of three average-sized passenger vehicles permitted to carry either 9 persons in a T3 or 6 persons in a T2. And three taxis can legally occupy the same space as a bus, carrying a minimum of only 3 passengers; a ratio of greater than 23:1. Additionally, traffic-flow is greatly impeded by the constant lane-changing of taxis and private vehicles darting in and out of the Transit Lanes to pass the buses when they stop.

"Once changed to dedicated Bus Lanes, police could employ and possibly outsource efficient, modern digital camera technology (randomly located on the roads and affixed to the buses) as there would be no need to determine the number of occupants of other vehicles in these lanes. This would free up scarce police resources and greatly reduce the number of infringements.

"Commuters would quickly realise the benefits of commuting using a faster, cheaper and more efficient bus service, cleaner air and fewer unnecessary private motor vehicles on our roads during peak hour.

"The Government should consider implementing this initiative in time for the Olympics," he said.

Contact: Harold Scruby (02) 9968-4544 Fax: (02) 9968-4566
Related Articles:

Sydney Morning Herald 21 May 2002
The Sunday Telegraph 26 May 2002