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More Perth residents TravelSmart.

Western Australia continues with its encouraging and proactive assessment of sustainable alternatives. The Department for Planning and Infrastructure's Director General, Greg Martin, recently announced the results of a TravelSmart programme trial in the Perth suburb of Armadale, where more than 7000 residents took part, showing their commitment to exploring transport alternatives.

Mr Martin said 'the Armadale community reduced the number of car journeys by 9 per cent over the year, or 6 million kilometres. That means, on average, around one trip each week where drivers have stopped to think about alternative transport options instead of reaching straight for the car keys.

'Add to that a 45 per cent increase in walking trips, 29 per cent increase in cycling and 18 per cent increase in public transport use.' At this rate Armadale residents enjoy an extra 120 000 hours of physical exercise and moderate greenhouse gas emissions by around 1800 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

'These results follow similar successes in South Perth and Cambridge, Marangaroo, Subiaco, Melville, Fremantle and Vincent. Full results are expected shortly for a TravelSmart project in Belmont where bus ticket sales are already 10 per cent higher due to public awareness created by the program,' Mr Martin said.

'Annually, TravelSmart has shown us that we can travel up to 100 million fewer kilometres by car, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 33 000 tonnes, and we can enjoy something like 1.7 million extra hours of physical activity by walking and cycling. That's a huge benefit to the community and we've shown it's achievable,' he said.

Other positive outcomes have included reductions in car-running costs and traffic congestion, less pollution, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced pressure on health care thanks to a more active community.

'The success of TravelSmart is directly linked to the government's commitment to expanding Perth's rail travel options, improving our bicycle network and advancing transport-oriented development to help connect suburbs with the rest of the community.'

Based on its success to date, the TravelSmart programme has been adopted interstate and internationally, including in the United States and parts of Europe and the United Kingdom.

More information: www.travelsmart.gov.au
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Title Annotation:public awareness program and transport alternatives
Publication:Ecos
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:361
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