Articles on Transport policy

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CRRC’s version of the optically guided bus, now operating in Zhuzhou, is more like light rail than its predecessors. CRRC

Looking past the hype about ‘trackless trams’

The autonomous rail rapid transit (ART) system developed in China might make buses sexy, but the technology alone won't resolve the issues of road space and right of way in Australia.
Transport promises stretching as far as the eye can see: Victorian Labor’s big one is a $A50 billion suburban rail loop. Penny Stephens/AAP

How much will voters pay for an early Christmas? Eight charts that explain Victoria’s transport election

Whichever party wins, Victoria's new government will have promised the biggest transport infrastructure project in Australian history. So what are the promises and are they backed by proper assessment?
The Whim app seamlessly connects users to multiple transport modes in Helsinki – public transport, taxis, car rental and car/bicycle sharing. Aleksandra Suzi/Shutterstock

For Mobility as a Service (MaaS) to solve our transport woes, some things need to change

Apps that seamlessly combine all our travel options could be the most significant transport innovation since the automobile, but early trials show government policy support is vital to make MaaS work.
Children’s travel needs are a big factor in private car use. Pablo Rogat/Shutterstock

Children in the car era: bad for them and the planet

The private car is the default transport option for many families. This reduces physical activity and increases greenhouse gas emissions, with unhealthy results for their children and the environment.
Most transport resources are being used inefficiently. The Canberra Transport Photo shows the road space required to move 69 people using public transport, bicycles and private motor vehicles. Cycling Promotion Fund

Smart mobility alone is no substitute for strong policy leadership

Blind belief that new technology and disruptive innovation will fix congestion in our cities overlooks the need for strong leadership that supports progressive policy innovation.
Another election, another infrastructure promise – in the Andrews government’s case, a $50 billion suburban rail loop. Penny Stephens/AAP

Infrastructure splurge ignores smarter ways to keep growing cities moving

In the election bidding wars, parties commit billions to transport projects, often before all the work needed to justify these has been done. More cost-effective alternatives hardly get a look-in.
CRRC Zhuzhou Institute developed the rubber-tyred autonomous rail transit (ART) system, or trackless tram, which has already been trialled in Zhuzhou, China. Wikimedia

Why trackless trams are ready to replace light rail

For 40 years the author has argued that trains and trams are better than buses. New 'trackless trams', which take innovations from high speed rail and put them in a bus, have changed his mind.
Electric scooters could solve the ‘last mile’ problem of urban transport if operators learn from the mistakes that plagued the introduction of dockless bikes. CrowdSpark/AAP

Can e-scooters solve the ‘last mile’ problem? They’ll need to avoid the fate of dockless bikes

Shared electric scooters appeal as a way to cover that awkward distance between public transport stops and your destination. But first e-scooter operators must solve the littering and dumping problem.
Smart bus use can transform public transport in cities, as EMBARQ is doing in Brazil. EMBARQ Brasil/Flickr

Don’t forget buses: six rules for improving city bus services

Trains and trams get most attention, but 'tweaking' bus transit can transform cities. Buses can be more cost-effective and deliver better service, especially for small to mid-sized cities.
In contrast to most big airports where public transport provides a large proportion of passenger access, 86% of access to Melbourne Airport is by car. David Crosling/AAP

Melbourne Airport is going to be as busy as Heathrow, so why the argument about one train line?

Good public access for Melbourne Airport and others like it depends on not fixating on one solution, like a single rail line, but instead developing multiple options integrated with the city's needs.
Sydney’s WestConnex is being constructed as a “high priority” project, despite its business case failing to meet Infrastructure Australia’s stated requirements. Ben Rushton/AAP

A closer look at business cases raises questions about ‘priority’ national infrastructure projects

Analysis of the business cases for three of the biggest projects deemed "high priority" by Infrastructure Australia raises questions about the process.
Very wet weather is likely to persuade many regular cyclists and walkers to travel instead by car if they can. This is Bondi Junction after a storm hit Sydney. David Moir/AAP

Too wet? Too cold? Too hot? This is how weather affects the trips we make

The relationship between weather and our travel choices is complicated. We can't change the weather, but, with many other factors in play, good policy and design can reduce its impacts.
The ‘Bicycle Snake’ in Copenhagen separates pedestrians and cyclists, allowing both to navigate the city more safely. Cycling Embassy of Denmark/DISSING+WEITLING

Cycling and walking are short-changed when it comes to transport funding in Australia

New analysis reveals just how little is spent on cycling and walking projects around Australia. No state's spending on cycling is more than 1.5% of its road funding.
Victorians who opposed the East West Link before the November 2014 election would have felt not much had changed when the new government announced the West Gate Tunnel in March 2015. Courtney Biggs/AAP

Sidelining citizens when deciding on transport projects is asking for trouble

Transport infrastructure has such an impact on what kind of city we become that more democratic planning is long overdue. But public consultation is typically limited and focused on design issues.

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