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Nearly one third of SA drivers predict a car-less future

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More than 30 per cent of South Australians believe they won’t own a car in a decade’s time, according to research by the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia.

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The research, conducted to inform the TTF’s report on the future of mobility, shows that a higher proportion of South Australians believe they will no longer own a car in 10 years than the national average.

“While most experts predict that autonomous and on-demand transport services will quickly lead to the end of private car ownership, a new nation-wide survey undertaken as part of this research has shown that 69 per cent of South Australians still believe that they will own their own car in 10 years’ time, compared to the national average of 76 per cent,” said TTF chief executive Margy Osmond.

The South Australian Government has been promoting driverless car technology, while the state also has an older population profile than other states.

In other results, the research found that nearly 65 per cent of South Australians want to see the government prioritise investment in public transport, while 35 per cent would prefer government spending to be focused on building more roads (compared to a national average of 70 per cent in favour of transport and 30 per cent preferring road spending).

South Australians were more likely to prefer that their transport services ran to a set timetable (66 per cent compared to the national average of 54 per cent) rather than more frequent ‘turn up and go services’.

About 64 per cent of South Australians believe that drones will be used in the future to transport people and freight. Just under 40 per cent of Australians would be happy to use such technology – but such a radical move would require changes in regulations and planning.

“Technology and innovation on their own will not be the silver bullet to all our problems. We need a planned and integrated mobility network that works with high-frequency public transport services, the shared economy options and with new disruptors in the sector,” Osmond said.

The report shows that while car ownership continues to increase, so does congestion on our roads.

“The preventable cost of congestion in Australia is estimated to increase from $16.5 billion (from a 2015 baseline) to $37 billion by 2030,” the report says. “Increased levels of car ownership will likely have a significant impact on congestion and will place further demand on existing road networks.”

It says that governments need to encourage people to use alternative modes of transport but private cars remain the transport mode of choice for 57 per cent of commuters.

“This indicates that for many commuters, public transport services may not be a viable or convenient alternative to driving. Longer term, shared and on-demand services could resolve these issues by providing safe, efficient and reliable first-last-mile connections between residential areas and major transport hubs.”

Osmond said governments could not “build our way out of future congestion”.

“We need to have an ongoing conversation with travellers to encourage the use of new flexible options.”

– InDaily

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