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Author Topic: Article: Sprawling transport not up to par  (Read 974 times)

Offline ozbob

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Article: Sprawling transport not up to par
« on: January 15, 2009, 07:33:42 AM »
From the Melbourne Age click here!

Sprawling transport not up to par

Quote
Sprawling transport not up to par

    * Clay Lucas
    * January 12, 2009

Melbourne is one of the developed world's most car-dependent cities.

A REPORT comparing the public transport systems of 52 cities internationally, commissioned by the State Government, has found that only North American cities have worse access to services than Melbourne.

And the Public Transport Standards Review, completed by respected transport analysts Booz and Co, has found Melbourne's public transport system performs worse than some Australian capitals in principal areas as well.

The report was completed as part of a government transport statement, released last month, and found eastern European cities invested 137 per cent more in public transport per head of population than Melbourne.

Western European cities invested 57 per cent more.

Only North American cities spent less on public transport per person than Melbourne, according to the report.

Melbourne is one of the developed world's most car-dependent cities, and the study sheds light on why: relatively poor access to public transport because the city is so spread out, and travel times 26 per cent slower than the car.

In cities with excellent public transport systems and worse road congestion ? including London, Moscow, Rome and Munich ? cars are as much as 50 per cent slower than trains or buses.

Western European cities such as Paris, Bern and Rotterdam had up to 13 times more services per urban hectare than Melbourne, which compared badly because of its vast urban sprawl.

Premier John Brumby last month guaranteed that the sprawl would continue, announcing a planned expansion of the city's growth boundaries on the north-west and south-east fringes.

The Booz and Co study also notes that Melbourne lacks specific and measurable service-standard targets, and that the performance levels mandated by the Government were either "ambiguous" or "largely undefined".

On the positive side, Melbourne's public transport travels quickly, compared with many international cities. Public transport speeds average 31.7kmh, up to 12 per cent faster than the average train, bus or tram in western Europe, the Americas or Asia.

In national comparisons, Melbourne has the nation's biggest rail network, with 380 kilometres of tracks. Sydney has 353 kilometres and Brisbane 322 kilometres.

For most public transport users, frequency is the key ? and Melbourne performs poorly in comparison with Perth, which has a standard 15-minute frequency. But with just 173 kilometres of tracks, Perth's rail network is half the size of Melbourne's. Sydney also has more frequent trains than Melbourne, except at night and on weekends. And its trains run for far longer, operating almost 24 hours on weekdays. Sydney's trains start at 3.49am and finish at 3.04am the next day. Melbourne's trains begin at 4.35am on weekdays and finish just after midnight.

On Sundays, Melbourne's train operating times are the worst of any major Australian city, starting at 7am and finishing at midnight.

Melbourne's buses also finish earlier than in other cities, the report found, with many lines running only until 9pm.
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