Despite petrol at record prices and traffic congestion, most people still don’t use public transport. Its share of the market sits stagnant at about 8% or so.
Why? Because most people will only choose PT over driving when it’s convenient: when it goes where you want to go, and when it’s frequent. How frequent is Melbourne’s PT? Here are the figures for the number of routes running every 15 minutes or better:
Say, for example, you want to go out at the weekend, and you don’t want to have to wait around too long, and you don’t want to check a timetable and time your trip to match the services. Well you’d better hope your trip is along one of the few routes that are running frequently:
All those spaces beyond the marked spots on the map are filled with suburbs: houses, shops, people. But no PT frequent enough to be competitive with driving.
This is why most people drive everywhere. It’s no wonder the roads are so congested… even on weekends.