Five key areas for transport
What the industry needs to focus on for future passenger transport.
The Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) is seeking your support for a suite of bus infrastructure investment projects as part of government recovery plans post-Covid-19. The way we see it, once things get back to ‘normal’, public transport will continue to be a vital part of the renewal and revitalisation of our cities and regions. Buses – the workhorse of the public transport network - will continue to be heavily relied upon as a transport and mobility option.
It is important in this context to recognise the Infrastructure Plan Priority List from Infrastructure Australia (February, 2016) that included the ‘Network Optimisation Program – Roads’ as a high priority initiative with a near-term proposed timetable of 0–5 years.
The initiative involves a portfolio of works focused on addressing congestion on urban road networks with comparatively high public transport and freight use. BIC believes that this is still an opportunity for all jurisdictions. An opportunity to identify and invest in bus priority, bus rapid transit (BRT) ‘lite’ and BRT infrastructure in line with data and technology, to improve network operation, particularly integration of bus, rail and ferry services.
Future passenger transport is also a subject top of mind for all of us working in the transport sector. Australia’s growing population, 36 million in the next 30 years, is a big number and will require a long-term focus on land use, planning and integrated transport.
It hardly seems surprising that the recommendation coming out of the report on Future Cities: Planning for our Growing Population from Infrastructure
Australia (February, 2018) identified a need to increase investment in timetable-free mass public transport to reduce congestion and increase access between where people live and where they work.
BIC has identified small- to large-scale bus infrastructure investment options that could form part of local, state and federal government road funding investment for now and the future. Shovel-ready to major bus/public transport infrastructure projects will not only support bus public transport, but can be a key Covid-19 economic recovery and employment driver as well as serving the longer-term infrastructure challenges identified by Infrastructure Australia.
“Future passenger transport is also a subject top of mind for all of us working in the transport sector.”
BIC has sent correspondence to all key transport, roads and infrastructure ministers and departments for their consideration of these five proposed road and transport infrastructure project options as outlined.
BIC has also recommended the formation of a project committee with Industry and public transport and infrastructure authorities and agencies in the federal and each state and territory government. This committee would be charged with identifying projects in the five proposed categories.
I urge all bus operators to get on board with this initiative and make contact with your local and state representative to discuss what might be taken up in these five key areas in your local area(s) of operation. Please send an email to email@example.com if you need any clarification, or require assistance in presenting your case for bus infrastructure projects in your area.