Public Transport Funding has been traditionally finalised based on the viability of specific projects/services based on traditional models (e.g. ROI / Cost-Benefit analysis) or to support growth plans for specific regions. This article proposes a different ‘holistic & inclusive perspective for Public Transport Funding based on the “Total Cost of Public Transport”(TCPT) framework.

As per this framework, the Total Cost of Public Transport’ is calculated as a sum of ‘Cost of Good Public Transport’ and Cost of Poor Public Transport’ which will help appreciate the true cost of Public Transport for the State. A marginal increase in “Good Public Transport funding”(e.g. Infrastructure/Services) can substantially reduce the “Total(True) cost of Public Transport” for the Government. A formal costing framework and tracking of trends of ratios between the various components can provide much-needed insights on Public Transport funding across regions and countries and will help support better-optimised data-based funding for Public Transport and Mobility projects.


Cost of Good Public Transport

Traditionally the funding for Public Transport is a combination of Public Transport Infrastructure, Public Transport services and funding for Research & Innovation for improving Public Transport. Although the overall funding of the individual components is officially published in the annual Government Budget, the funding is not grouped into these specific categories. The ratio of funding for these categories can help with interesting insights for future planning.

Cost of Poor Public Transport

Cost of Poor Public Transport includes all costs due to adverse impacts and losses due to inadequate Public Transport funding including cost impacts due to congestion, carbon emissions, health impacts and social security. It also includes opportunity costs considering the untapped tourism potential and economic growth. Note: This is not an exhaustive list and just a sample list of items.

The increase in funding for Public Transport can significantly reduce the cost of Poor Public Transport. If a formal framework and a tracking mechanism can be established, the impacts of an increase in specific components of Public Transport funding can be tracked and can help facilitate data-based informed decision making for Public Transport funding. This will also help a data-based framework to support the advocacy efforts of multiple groups (Sustainable Equitable Mobility & Public Transport Advocacy Groups, Social & Economic Inclusion, Climate Change Action groups) who are advocating for additional funding for better Public Transport and innovative solutions.

When the Cost of Good Public Transport and Cost of Poor Public Transport are plotted against each other, it might likely appear as in the sample chart above. The increase in funding for Public Transport can result in a significant reduction of ‘Cost of Poor Public Transport’ and ‘Total Cost of Public Transport’ at initial years. As in the sample chart above, the increase in Public Transport funding has very little impact on reducing ‘Cost of Poor Public Transport’, but the ‘Total Cost of Public Transport’ continues to increase. This model can help to identify the optimal Public Transport funding (Year 5 in the sample chart above).

Service Area

Planning Services

 23.7% of the ACT population now reside within 750 m of rapid public transport corridor. This reduces public transport patronage considerably and also creates disadvantage for disabled, elderly and young families with infants.

The solution is to deploy wheel chair enabled shuttles which can be booked Using the app or Book via phone