Articles on Transport policy

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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.
Only in a few active travel strongholds, typically in the inner city, do Australian cycling and walking rates get close to those in Europe. Andrew Robinson/Flickr

Australian cities are far from being meccas for walking and cycling

A comparison of Australian cities reveals cyclists and walkers are still very much a minority of commuters, despite the economic, health and environmental costs. Action on three fronts is needed.
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.
Reforming how drivers pay for the costs of their road use can help keep traffic flowing, which is just one of the potential benefits. Holli/Shutterstock

Delay in changing direction on how we tax drivers will cost us all

Traffic congestion is the main cost that cars create when they use existing roads. Road use charges are a more efficient and fairer way to cover the cost and help ensure traffic flows.
A trial of 1,400 drivers across Melbourne suggests time-of-use charges can be effective in easing traffic congestion. AMPG/Shutterstock

City-wide trial shows how road use charges can reduce traffic jams

A city-wide experiment suggests well-designed road use charges could ease congestion by encouraging people to drive at different times, take other routes or use other transport.
Lots of parking: the extraordinary amount of valuable land used to park cars in most cities could soon be freed up for other uses. Antonio Gravante/Shutterstock

Freeing up the huge areas set aside for parking can transform our cities

Cities around the world are starting to rethink the vast areas of land set aside for parking. The convergence of several trends likely will mean this space becomes available for other uses.
Having to own multiple cars comes at a cost to the finances and health of residents in the sprawling outer suburbs. David Crosling/AAP

Designing suburbs to cut car use closes gaps in health and wealth

One of the most effective ways to reduce health inequalities across Australia is to design neighbourhoods that free residents from having to rely on cars for transport.
Rush-hour traffic in Jakarta on 13 June 2017. If not for fuel subsidy cuts, the congestion could have been even worse. Reuters/Beawiharta

Indonesia’s fuel subsidy cuts prevented even worse traffic jams

Traffic continues to increase, but more slowly than would have been the case if the reforms had not gone ahead.
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.

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