Missing the bus

It’s a cu­ri­ous thing how the de­sign and ge­og­ra­phy of a city can have such a large im­pact on its res­i­dents’ up­take of pub­lic trans­port, writes Ran­dal­lJohn­ston

ABC (Australia) - - AT THE HELM -

Queens­lan­ders are more likely to still own a car in 10 years’ time than any other Aus­tralian, ac­cord­ing to new re­search un­der­taken by the Tourism and Trans­port Fo­rum.

Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory driv­ers are us­ing less fuel per 100 kilo­me­tres than mo­torists in other ar­eas, if you ask the Bureau of In­fra­struc­ture, Trans­port and Re­gional Eco­nom­ics.

While the two  nd­ings above do not re­late speci cally to pub­lic trans­port use, they do show that peo­ple in some cities and towns still cling to pri­vate trans­port over pub­lic trans­port.

I would con dently say that it’s eas­ier to get around Syd­ney and Mel­bourne via pub­lic trans­port than it is in Bris­bane or Can­berra.

In my view this comes down to the fact that there are more op­tions. In Syd­ney, if the train can’t take you, then a bus or a ferry might get you closer. In Mel­bourne, if the tram isn’t an op­tion, then a bus or a tram prob­a­bly is.

Where I come from, the rst thing you do when you turn 15 is get your learn­ers li­cence. Christchurch is a city of just 300,000 peo­ple in the South Is­land of New Zealand, but it is sprawl­ing. Bus is the only form of pub­lic trans­port and the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions are shop­ping cen­tres in the outer sub­urbs rather than the CBD.

Read about the study that shows how at­tached Bris­bane peo­ple are to their cars on page 8.

Con­tribut­ing journalist Ian Porter sits down with Mikael Jans­son, who will be steer­ing Sca­nia Aus­tralia through a pe­riod of im­pend­ing leg­is­la­tion and test­ing of emerg­ing au­ton­o­mous bus tech­nol­ogy ( p35).

Tech­ni­cal writer Paul Aldridge checks out the B8RLE Euro 6 CAT bus, which is one of 32 re­place­ment buses Vol­gren is in the process of de­liv­er­ing in Perth ( p38).

We sit down for a chat with Whit­mores Bus Lines di­rec­tor Jamie Whit­more about his pur­chase of Castle­maine Bus Lines, a 20-bus op­er­a­tion in re­gional Vic­to­ria. We speak about what this means for him, his team, and the big plans that he has to boost ser­vices in the area ( p46).

As the only bus door man­u­fac­turer in Aus­tralia, SMC Aus­tralia-New Zealand has man­aged to  nd a niche mar­ket for its Ja­panese pneu­matic con­trol sys­tems. Ini­tially, SMC Aus­tralia was an agent for im­ported brands of bus doors but, to of­fer their cus­tomers more ex­i­bil­ity, a quicker turn­around and an im­proved prod­uct, the com­pany took the bus door man­u­fac­tur­ing in­house ( p52).

ABC has part­nered with this year’s event or­gan­is­ers and hosts Queens­land Bus In­dus­try Coun­cil (QBIC) to pro­duce and present the Aus­tralasian Bus & Coach Expo 2017 of cial pro­gram, in­clud­ing a oor map, full ex­hibitor list and in­for­ma­tion from in­dus­try sup­pli­ers that have a tonne of new prod­ucts and ser­vices to show­case at the Expo (see in­side). If you are at­tend­ing; en­joy the show! If you can’t make it – don’t stress – we will bring you full cov­er­age over the next two edi­tions of ABC mag­a­zine.

“Peo­ple in some cities and towns still cling to pri­vate trans­port over pub­lic trans­port”

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