Five key areas for trans­port

What the in­dus­try needs to fo­cus on for fu­ture pas­sen­ger trans­port.

ABC (Australia) - - BIC MICHAEL APPS - Michael Apps BIC ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor PO Box 6171, Kingston ACT 2604 p: 02 6247 5990 f: 02 6273 1035 e: ad­min@bic.asn.au

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 en­quiries@bic.asn.au if you need any clar­i­fi­ca­tion, or re­quire as­sis­tance in pre­sent­ing your case for bus in­fra­struc­ture projects in your area.

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