Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors 2019
Both major parties are promising major road projects this election. Meanwhile, the potential for passenger and freight rail to help meet the country’s climate goals seems stuck at the station.
The Tokaido Shinkansen in Japan.
Some 34 countries have high-speed rail or are about to get it. Yet since it was for proposed for Australia in 1984, no local plan for high-speed rail has got further than the drawing board.
Converting to electric cars is going to take time. With transport being Australia’s fastest-growing source of emissions, action on all fronts – road, rail, sea and aviation – is needed.
Nigeria needs more than trucks to achieve effective freight management.
In addition to transport, Nigeria needs to pay more attention to logistics and supply chain management.
Regional NSW, home to a third of the state’s population, is still waiting for the promise of faster train travel to be delivered. Other states improved their regional services years ago.
With government reforms underway, are we headed to a more enticing rail experience in the UK?
PjrTransport / Alamy Stock Photo
The government’s plan to shake up the national rail system is ambitious. Whether it will be cheaper for the customer – and for the nation – remains to be seen
A high-speed rail network in Australia would create many benefits by reshaping cities and regional communities along its route.
NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance announces a move to the next stage of planning for the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link project in November 2019.
Once again, the state looks intent on pressing ahead with a huge road project without releasing a business case. Among the many concerns is the failure to look at lower-emission alternatives.
The continued upward trend in our second-biggest source of emissions is a result of government inaction on a transport mix dominated by trucks and cars and a lack of fuel-efficiency standards.
Only the inner suburbs of Melbourne and other capital cities meet the 20-minute neighbourhood test. But we could transform the other suburbs for much less than the cost of current transport projects.
Investing in rail can put transport emissions on the right track.
Electric trains use seven times less carbon dioxide than cars. With careful planning, railways could drastically cut emissions from a sector that now accounts for a quarter of the carbon in our air.
The Melbourne Transportation Plan included every freeway and major arterial road built in the city since 1969.
While called a transportation plan,
it was heavily skewed towards roads. We need the type of city-shaping thinking that underpinned the plan, but today’s plans must match 21st-century priorities.
The Australian and Victorian governments have both promised funding for a Melbourne Airport rail link, but a private consortium’s unsolicited proposal is also on the table.
Unsolicited market proposals are not transparently assessed. Infrastructure should be built to serve the public interest, not shaped by its private backers, but the checks to ensure this are broken.
In cities like Copenhagen that have good infrastructure for cycling it’s an established commuting option alongside road and rail.
A breakdown in the road or rail systems often causes commuter chaos in Australia. Some overseas cities are more resilient because they have other options – and our bicycle network could give us that.
Many commuters already travel from regional cities to work in capital cities like Melbourne so what impacts will fast rail have?
While governments focus on how to ease congestion and make affordable housing more accessible for workers in our biggest cities, fast rail could be a mixed blessing for regional cities.
VLocity trains run at speeds of up to 160km/h on four Victorian regional lines.
More than half a century after the first high-speed trains began running overseas, Australia is still waiting for the long-promised service. Right now, faster rail is a better short-term prospect.
With more than a million Australians using public transport to get to work each day, demand for car parking at the station is virtually insatiable.
The Commuter Car Park Fund announced in the budget sounds big, but is likely to create only around 30,000 extra spaces – a marginal benefit for Australia’s 1.2 million daily public transport users.
The Morrison government’s infrastructure budget favours Victoria, in a change from recent budgets.
Despite boasts of ‘record’ infrastructure spending, relative to GDP it’s comparable to previous budgets. What’s different is that Treasurer Frydenberg has chanced his arm more over the longer term.
Vancouver used traffic congestion as a ‘stick’ and the SkyTrain as a ‘carrot’ in a strategy to discourage car use and make the city a better place to live.
Instead of spending ever more on roads, we can learn from Vancouver’s use of congestion as a ‘friend’ in managing the development of transport networks and of the city itself.
Transport promises stretching as far as the eye can see: Victorian Labor’s big one is a $A50 billion suburban rail loop.
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?