INCREASING public transport and reducing private transport use was an issue highlighted to transport sector representatives at the National Transport Consultation Forum in Lami last week.
Dean of the Fiji National University's College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Studies Doctor Mahendra Reddy raised his concern on the issue in his traffic management presentation.
Dr Reddy said the increase in economic level had been changing the social set-up and the use of private transport had become a social need rather than a private one.
"People are moving towards cars to symbolise their economic health in the society and this paradigm shift in the social behaviour has shown a dramatic effect over the number of private vehicles running on the roads," he said.
"The rate at which the private vehicles are increasing is not alarming but a potential threat to the safety, security and development of urban areas.
"Use of public rather than private transport in urban areas is increasingly being seen as a way of potentially reducing congestion and pollution."
Dr Reddy said the policy was easily stated in broad terms but much harder to achieve in practice.
Land Transport Authority chief executive officer Naisa Tuinaceva said LTA supported the view of increasing public transport use and reducing private transport use.
Mr Tuinaceva said the authority realised the problem of road congestion in the urban centres and reducing private transport use would surely make a difference.