Articles on Transport policy

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The Netherlands’ cycleways are popular for commuting, because the infrastructure is safe, accessible and convenient. The Alternative Department for Transport

People take to their bikes when we make it safer and easier for them

The evidence suggests a small investment in cycling infrastructure, combined with less punitive policing, would enable more Australians to escape daily traffic congestion.
Rail investments have brought Ballarat, Geelong and other regional centres closer in travel time to Melbourne than many outer suburbs. Tony & Wayne/flickr

This is how regional rail can help ease our big cities’ commuter crush

Victoria offers lessons in the benefits of integrating metropolitan and regional planning, using regional rail to shrink distance and ease the pressures of growth on our big capital cities.
Malcolm Turnbull has made clear his apparent enthusiasm for a rail line to Melbourne Airport – with or without state government support. AAP/Julian Smith

Airport rail link can open up new possibilities for the rest of Melbourne

A rail link is a big step towards transforming transport access and land use in ways that will enable a much bigger city to remain liveable. And Melbourne can learn from Sydney about this.
Sydney’s bus services are a mix of public and private-operated routes, which complicates any estimates of potential cost savings. Dean Lewins/AAP

Why touted public transport savings from competitive tendering are too high

Estimated cost savings for rail and bus franchising from Infrastructure Australia and PwC will have government treasurers salivating. Problem is, the figures are almost certainly far too high.
Customers who arrive on foot, by bicycle or by public transport contribute significantly more to the restaurant trade than the business owners realise. Mik Scheper/flickr

Parking isn’t as important for restaurants as the owners think it is

A new study shows that restaurateurs would be better off advocating for better public transport access to their precincts rather than for more parking.
The scene of the fatal crash at Essendon Airport, where authorities allowed extensive development between the runways and surrounding housing. Joe Castro/AAP

Airport privatisations have put profit before public safety and good planning

Airport operators enjoy the privileged position in Australian planning law of being able to decide their own futures. Their exemption from state planning rules threatens orderly planning and safety.
This Melbourne traffic jam shows the system’s vulnerability to congestion. A data-based integrated transport approach may help it cope better with inevitable disruptions. Julian Smith/AAP

City streets become a living lab that could transform your daily travel

A project set up north of Melbourne's CBD aims to create a living laboratory for developing a highly integrated, smart, multimodal transport system.
Political calculations drove the Abbott and Baird governments’ decisions on investing taxpayers’ money in the WestConnex project. Nikki Short/AAP

WestConnex audit offers another $17b lesson in how not to fund infrastructure

Reckless government investment decisions are sadly the norm when it comes to transport infrastructure. Three key checks on the decision-making process can help ensure taxpayers get value for money.
The two NSW motorway projects were unable to consider the issue of access to a mix of transport options, which is a key factor in public health impacts. Dylan Passmore/flickr

Why transport projects aren’t as good for your health as they could be

Transport infrastructure projects are conceived, planned and assessed in a way that makes it difficult to properly consider their major public health impacts.
Road user pricing would encourage people to take non-essential trips at a different time, or not at all. thomasthethinkengine.com

Road user charging belongs on the political agenda as the best answer for congestion management

Charging people to drive has been the dream of policy wonks – serving politicians tend to see it as political poison. So when federal minister Paul Fletcher raises it, that's a step forward.
The report found that Sydney households face the highest transport costs of any city in Australia both in dollar terms and as a percentage of household income. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

FactCheck: does the average Australian family spend up to $22,000 every year on transport?

The Australian Automobile Association said that a new report showed that "the average Australian family is spending up to $22,000 every year to get around." Is that accurate?
A self-driving bus completes a demonstration drive in Tokyo in July. Toru Hanai/Reuters

Smart cities: does this mean more transport disruptions?

New technologies do not exist in a vacuum. To succeed, new transport technology needs to match the ways we want to move around cities and be accommodated by laws and regulations.

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