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Popularity and High Patronage Are Needed December 11, 2009

Posted by schiltec in General.
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User-friendliness is the key

To make a system mainstream it must be popular in patronage and should be a major tourist magnet. Popularity should be the single focus and all issues should be judged accordingly.   Public transport systems all over the world struggle.  Many networks, even in cities with high density and tram tradition, depend on heavy government subsidy to survive.  Australia does not have high density nor can it be called a tram homeland.  Any tram system, traditional or dynamic capacity, for it to avoid the deficit trap, must achieve not medium but high patronage .  Marginally viable systems can be supported by governments and patronage propped up by subsidised fares.  Sooner or later however the enthusiasms of tax payers and various governments vanes and the system settles on a lower level.

Only genuine, market driven high patronage is true viability.  In best case it can even achieve independent profitability for the operator. If achieved without or with only little government subsidy, it is sustainable, avoids the drain on the public purse and avoids taxpayer’s anger.  Morever, only a profitable system will imbue the rest of the economy. Lukewarm or propaganda driven popularity on the other hand is not sustainable.  Worse, sooner or later it promotes dullness, a known poison for tourism.

This leaves the question of how to make the system popular; how to genetate and maintain high patronage?

The answer is short: user-friendliness.

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