Need for a Permanent Solution (continued)

I refer to my earlier blog where I stated that investment in an alternative mode of transport such as underground or tram system was not recommended in a 2015 study I had co-authored. The reason behind this is that I remain optimistic that public transport cannot be disregarded as one of the main solutions for a modal shift from use of private cars.

My concern here is that public transport is costing tax payers millions of euro and therefore public transport efficiency is the minimum we tax payers expect of this mode of transport. Anything less and it’s obvious to all that the public transport would have failed miserably again. We cannot afford that.

My other concern is, that in addition to enhancing efficiency of public transport, is the need to link public transport to other modes of transports and facilities like ‘park and ride’. The country is crying for investment in this area and the creation of transport hubs is an absolute must if people are to be convinced that it’s more convenient and preferably less costly (both in terms of perceived and unperceived costs) to use a combination of transport modes such as ferry service or cycling and public transport with the latter possibly being e-public transport, thereby further reducing emissions such PM2.5, NMVOC, and NOx.

In my view these are medium and long-term solutions and there could be regarded as permanent solutions. Of course, the success of such measures will depend to a high degree on the planning and coordination between different transport modes. Fiscal measures cannot be excluded a priori but I’ve always tried to avoid recommending taxation as a policy to induce a modal shift from the use of private car. In my view, that should a last resort but people need to made be made aware of it.

This Government and successive governments may well look at some form of underground or tram system as the permanent solution. I’m yet to be convinced though funds from the European Fund for Strategic Investments may well be available. We shall wait and see.