Articles on Transport planning

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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.
Victoria has led the way in upgrading intercity rail services with medium-speed VLocity trains that have a cruising speed of 160km/h. Joe Castro/AAP

Let’s get moving with the affordable medium-speed alternatives to the old dream of high-speed rail

High-speed rail for Australia has been on the drawing boards since the mid-1980s but has come to nothing. Three states are developing medium-speed rail with federal funding, but NSW is missing out.
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.
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.
The morning traffic builds up on the Tasman Highway at Montagu Bay. Congestion has become a hot issue for Hobart residents. Wiki ian/Wikipedia

Growth pains and gridlock come to Hobart, and building more roads is not the best way out

Hobart is a smaller city with big city problems that have become an election issue. Recent growth is creating traffic congestion that affects productivity, residents' health and liveability.
Four major disruptions of urban transport are set to transform city life, but exactly how remains uncertain. Taras Makarenko/Pexels

Utopia or nightmare? The answer lies in how we embrace self-driving, electric and shared vehicles

Self-driving, shared, electric vehicles and increasing urban density represent four disruptions that will transform city life. But a transport utopia isn't a guaranteed outcome of their interactions.
Much of the traffic using Sydney’s Anzac Bridge and, in the distance, Harbour Bridge is travelling through the city centre, not to it or from it. Rob Roggema

This is how WestConnex can deliver Sydney a better city centre

One potential benefit of WestConnex, which remains untouched, is that it could relieve Sydney's city centre from cars and make it more pedestrian-friendly.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance and the Coalition government are under pressure to fix long-standing problems with Sydney’s train system which have now come to a head. Daniel Munoz/AAP

This is how Sydney’s transport system has gone off the rails

The real challenge is finding appropriate ways to invest in public transport that will not only take pressure off the system but also support improved travel on all modes, including cars.
The A$6.7bn West Gate Tunnel project has similar problems to the cancelled East West Link. Andi Yu/AAP

Transurban’s West Gate tollway is a road into uncharted territory

Recent decisions to proceed with major road projects have not considered viable alternatives, despite this being a legal requirement.

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