Executive director Michael Apps wraps up the latest happenings and insights from Canberra and beyond. This month? We learn about planning for our growing population.
Supplying for our growing population and the value of getting there: the case for mobility for stronger Australian regions.
T he Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) has always argued the Federal Government has a leadership and strategic role to play and at last we are seeing all major political parties in Canberra paying attention.
The most recent report coming out of Infrastructure Australia (IA) very much reflects the research and policy paper series that BIC has been presenting to all levels of government for more than a decade. It is clear that we are reaching a point of no return where all levels of government must take action in relation to the growth of our cities (and regions) and how we move people.
The Future Cities – Planning for our Growing Population report from Infrastructure Australia once again identifies the urgent need for action and public transport and bus services are a big part of the solution. The report said:
“Cars continue to play an important role in our cities. However, across all scenarios, congestion significantly increases, and adding new roads is only part of the solution. The scenario analysis indicates that private vehicles continue to be used
for the majority of trips within our largest cities, and the total number of trips on our roads increases significantly. Construction of new roads alone cannot accommodate this demand and alleviate congestion at the same time. Land-use planning and transport network investment will need to be complemented by other approaches including demand management mechanisms, such as road user charging, and public transport investment.”
This should sound familiar if you have been reading the BIC research and policy statements or attended a BIC conference in the past few years.
Public transport investment in infrastructure and services must be a cornerstone of future federal and state government decisions about transport priorities. The connectivity of our regional areas to our cities is vital. If for no other reason, the Federal Government must be involved in public transport in the city and the country because, as the simple mantra says – “it’s the economy, stupid.”
This IA report sends a dire warning about the thought bubble that personalised autonomous modules for transport is going to address the challenges of population growth and congestion — as we look to the current debate about mobility as a service (MAAS), future mobility and new technology.
Transport in the 21st century will have at its core a spine of mass transit and feeder services that will be at the centre of city and regional transport and this model is not, as some suggest, an obsolete dinosaur.
“Land-use planning and transport network investment will need to be complemented by other approaches.”