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Monday, 10 August 2015

More On International Comparisons
International comparisons are always fraught with difficulty. My favourites are those that try to compare the price of something in various countries - which rely on exchange rates that have nothing to do with relative purchasing power.

We often hear whingeing about the price of coffee in Perth by comparison with other places in Australia and overseas. Exchange rates don't affect the within-Australia comparisons, but they do affect international ones.

For example, a AU$4.50 cup of coffee seemed expensive (equivalent to £2.50) compared to the UK a year ago - but, now the value of the Australian dollar has dropped, that same cup of coffee is equivalent to £2.00 - similar to the price in a typical UK high-street coffee shop.

And so it is with public transport. As Alex Delbosc clearly shows, we should be wary of comparing the public transport we use every day at home with those we use as visitors overseas, because we use them for different purposes and our expectations as visitors are different from those we have as commuters.

We could wish, however, that we in Perth had a clear vision for public transport rather than continuing to argue about who said what and what they really meant - and that's just within the Government.
Written and Posted by Ian Ker, Convenor, STCWA

1 comment:

  1. It is better to make efforts to improve the system than lamenting on its condition. Australia owns one of the best transport systems in the world. Little changes can make a lots of difference.