Interim PC report notes potential for tech in transport

The Productivity Commission (PC) has released the interim report for its 5 Year Productivity Inquiry, which notes the potential for technology to enhance productivity in both the delivery and operation of transport infrastructure and services.

Consistent with a recommendation put forward in RA’s own submission to the Inquiry earlier this year, the report notes:

In transport for example, governments and businesses are less technologically hostage to some of the relatively crude pricing and cost recovery mechanisms of the past, such as fuel excise, paper tickets or first-generation card technology in public transport.

More sophisticated approaches make it possible to get closer to marginal cost pricing (including in close to real time) where that is appropriate and efficient with the added flexibility of remote work as a viable alternative for many workers, at least part of the time.

A more sophisticated pricing approach to rationing demand and gauging the willingness to pay for costly transport infrastructure has the potential to be the twenty first century transport transformation.

The PC will now embark on a further engagement with industry and the community to further develop a series of recommendations to put forward to government in a final report. RA will be making a further contribution to this process, with submissions set to close on 7 October.

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