Socialist Alliance candidates in the March state election are calling for a big investment in public transport to deal with the horrible amount of road fatalities and to reduce carbon emissions.

“There were 64 deaths on Tasmanian roads in 2009, this compares unfavorably to the 40 deaths in 2008 and 45 in 2007. Every death that occurs on the road is tragic but the Government isn’t willing to admit it hasn’t got the answers. It’s time to look at the bigger picture. While increased driver education is useful, the fact remains that public transport is a much safer mode of transport than private car usage. According to the National Safety Council in the United States, riding a bus is over 170 times safer than using a car. In this context, instead of investing money in widening the Midland highway, the money should instead be invested in a high-speed rail network and a public bus system between Hobart, Launceston and Devonport. This, more than any other measure, will help to reduce the amount of deaths occurring on Tasmanian roads” said Jenny Forward, Socialist Alliance candidate for Franklin

The Socialist Alliance is also running on a platform of a Free and Frequent public transport system for Hobart.

“Besides safety, we need to invest in public transport for environmental reasons. In Melbourne it was found that petrol cars emit 286g of CO2 per passenger per kilometere, with diesel buses it is 22g. A huge saving. But to facilitate the shift away from private car use, a much-improved public transport system is needed, that is why we’re calling for public transport to be free and frequent in Hobart. In the city of Hasselt in Belgium, free public transport has seen a 1319% increase in usage in just ten years. In cities like Perth and Wollongong, we’ve seen limited free public transport implemented to great success. If it can succeed elsewhere, then it can succeed here” said Melanie Barnes, candidate for Denison.