Rail usage in Australia is increasing at a ‘staggering’ rate, increasing by 84 million passenger journeys in the past four years.
The Australian Rail Industry Report, commissioned by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) with data from 22 train operators, found that as well as rising passenger usage, both light rail and freight had also experienced a surge in popularity.
Light rail journeys rose by 7.3 million in 2011/12 and goods moved by rail freight increased by 8 per cent to 929.6 million tonnes, according to the new figures.
Chief executive of ARA Brian Nye said: “This report has shown that passenger journeys on rail increased by 15.4 million in one year taking the total annual figure up to 784.2 million journeys.
“If you look back to 2008, there has been a staggering increase of 84 million passenger journeys on rail, proving that Australians are seeing rail as a viable transport option now more than they ever have before.
“This report justifies increased investment in rail to reduce congestion on roads and increase productivity across the economy.”