Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Grandma owned a car

Transport academics and leaders talk about the future for Melbourne public transport (2 parts).

Discussion at the Future Melbourne wiki.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Phin said...

Interesting link Peter. I confess to being somewhat surprised though that frequency and integration weren't more prominent in the discussion. If they are worried about all this car use for short trips - and also want more decentralisation - then frequency has to be much much higher.

For short trips, wait time will make up more of the total trip time than for line haul (assuming the same headway), and people aren't going to wait 15 or more minutes for their bus to arrive if it takes them 5 minutes to drive.

On another note, watching this made me think about people moving to the outer suburbs go get bigger houses. I know public transport is poor there, but could we also be seeing a selection bias issue here - that is, are the sort of people who want the big house and don't place a high priority on access to public transport when deciding where to live less likely to want to catch public transport anyway?

10:32 pm  
Blogger Peter Parker said...

Phin, agreed about the increased importance of waiting for short trips.

Except where tram frequencies are very high (Sydney Rd), walking will beat the tram for distances of 1km, and even the slowest cyclist will beat trams for distances of up to 2km. And where a transfer is involved, the slowest cyclist would almost certainly beat PT for distances of up to say 5km.

The decentralisation bit worries me a lot. It's supposed to be 'good' in that jobs are closer to where people live.

Decentralisation might increase the walking modal share by (maybe) 1%, and cycling by 2%, but what is the main game? To me it's that it's almost always associated with a decline in modal share for public transport as driving becomes more attractive.

The CBD is reachable from most directions by good PT, but that is less true for anywhere outside it at car-competitive speeds.

The Coles HQ shift is a classic example, but I would suspect that even suburban uni campuses with good PT (Swinburne, Monash Caulfield) would be less transit oriented than any CBD campus.

If you wanted to predict whether people used public transport or not, the first question you'd ask is 'Do you work in the CBD?'.

In the absence of more nuanced and targeted policies, a strong CBD free of height and planning restrictions (especially minimum parking requirements) is about the best thing that could happen for public transport.

This creates on-system over crowding, but the pressure for improvement is going to be greater than if the system was poorly used. And it's better that public transport's problems are caused by over use rather than not enough.

The difference in house prices between inner and outer areas swamps differences in transport costs. Eg an inner city household might spend $10k pa on transport, as opposed to $20k pa for an outer suburban household with more cars and petrol use. With a 10% interest rate, the $10k difference is the equivalent of $100k difference in house price.

The typical Zone 1 house costs $500-800k, compared to $400k in the middle suburbs and $200-300k in outer Zone 2. So differences in transport costs aren't by themselves compelling enough to encourage inner city living.

Your point appears to be correct when it gets down to choices within outer suburbs available to people of similar means. Eg an old 3br house within walking distance of (say) Werribee station might cost $200k, whereas a McMansion in outer Hoppers Crossing or Wyndham Vale might cost nearly $100k more.

If the latter is more popular, then this would be decisive evidence that people like the newer areas more - not just for the bitter houses, but as there's more young families just like them, fewer welfare recipients, (perceived) better schools etc. About the only downfall is lack of transport, and this might be a worthy sacrifice.

11:49 pm  
Blogger Dale_FutureMelbourneOfficer said...

Hi,

Thanks for your post on Future Melbourne.

Phin, yes frequency and integration were in fact part of the original discussion, however the videos above are unfortunately only an edited version of what was certainly a much larger discussion. You might like to check out some of the content under Future Melbourne's goal: A Connected city. In particular the following pathway:
www.futuremelbourne.com.au/wiki/view/FMPlan/S2G6P1EffectiveAndIntegratedPublicTransport

Peter, I agree that unless PT frequency is improved significantly, then other forms of transport will continue to win out in terms of speed.

At Future Melbourne, we're currently right in the middle of our public consultation period, and as far as we can tell, this is the first time anywhere in the world that a local government has used a wiki to enable people to directly edit the content of a city plan.

We'd love to have some contributions of the calibre discussed here over on the wiki. Feel free to jump across to www.futuremelbourne.com.au and post on any of the discussion pages, or even directly edit the plan if you have a worthy suggestion.

Thanks again and look forward to the prospect of seeing you on the wiki!

Dale,
Future Melbourne Team.

7:27 pm  
Blogger Dale_FutureMelbourneOfficer said...

Hi,

Thanks for your post on Future Melbourne.

Phin, yes frequency and integration were in fact part of the original discussion, however the videos above are unfortunately only an edited version of what was certainly a much larger discussion. You might like to check out some of the content under Future Melbourne's goal: A Connected city. In particular the following pathway:
www.futuremelbourne.com.au/wiki/view/FMPlan/S2G6P1EffectiveAndIntegratedPublicTransport

Peter, I agree that unless PT frequency is improved significantly, then other forms of transport will continue to win out in terms of speed.

At Future Melbourne, we're currently right in the middle of our public consultation period, and as far as we can tell, this is the first time anywhere in the world that a local government has used a wiki to enable people to directly edit the content of a city plan.

We'd love to have some contributions of the calibre discussed here over on the wiki. Feel free to jump across to http://www.futuremelbourne.com.au and post on any of the discussion pages, or even directly edit the plan if you have a worthy suggestion.

Thanks again and look forward to the prospect of seeing you on the wiki!

Dale,
Future Melbourne Team

7:31 pm  

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