Topic archives: car

Have we passed peak car (parking)?

Have we passed peak car (parking)?

August 2, 2017 6

Australian city dwellers have passed peak travel (kilometres per capita) but it seems they haven't passed peak car ownership or peak parking

Why has walking to school stumbled so badly?

Why has walking to school stumbled so badly?

April 11, 2017 12

The proportion of children driven to primary school has raced ahead over the last 30 to 40 years. The standard solutions won't change that by much, but there's hope

Should removal of this level crossing get priority?

Should removal of this level crossing get priority?

September 16, 2016 2

Two deaths this week at a Melbourne level crossing prompted calls to prioritise its removal. But it's a much more complex decision; there are other important issues to take into account

What should we be doing now to prepare for driverless cars?

What should we be doing now to prepare for driverless cars?

December 9, 2015 13

If our cities are going to benefit from the transformative potential of autonomous vehicles, we need to start building a consensus now that they should be implemented strictly as shared vehicles

Do multi-storey carparks at railway stations make sense?

Do multi-storey carparks at railway stations make sense?

July 29, 2015 7

Building car parks at rail stations might seem like a smart idea if it gives more travelers the opportunity to use trains for most of their journey. But it's costly and isn't likely to drive patronage

Does getting to work take way too long?

Does getting to work take way too long?

July 14, 2015 5

Bill Shorten's claim that most workers spend excessive time traveling to work by car isn't true. The key issue isn’t time; it's how many kilometres workers commute and what mode they use

Are walking and cycling as green as we imagine?

Are walking and cycling as green as we imagine?

March 22, 2015 24

Recent research concludes carbon emissions from walking are very large - around the same as taking the bus - and it's mainly down to what we eat. As usual, it's not that simple

The bridge: does it have to carry cars to be successful?

The bridge: does it have to carry cars to be successful?

July 16, 2014 6

A new car-free bridge in Brisbane shows that strategically selected investment in bus, bicycle and walk infrastructure can have a huge effect on how people travel and where they choose to live

Is managing transport in cities really a no-brainer?

Is managing transport in cities really a no-brainer?

April 7, 2014 20

Those popular comparisons of cars against sustainable modes look like a no-brainer. But most of them are highly misleading in the Australian context because they only apply in limited situations

What is public transport?

What is public transport?

June 4, 2012 12

The draft report of Alan Fel’s Taxi Industry Inquiry released last week, Customers First, has a section (p64) discussing whether or not taxis are regarded as public transport. That might sound like it’s only of academic interest, but it has important policy implications. The Inquiry concludes they aren’t: The inquiry considers that taxis are not […]

Do cars need horns?

Do cars need horns?

April 22, 2012 24

I saw a driver scare the bejeezus out of two cyclists this morning by driving up close and giving them a long, loud blast with his car’s horn. This wasn’t a toot; it was a sustained, high-power burst at pointblank range. What probably provoked the ‘attack’ is the cyclists were riding in tandem side-by-side. The […]

Does it cost less to drive to work than catch the train?

December 10, 2011 12

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) is keen to make the case that it costs more to travel by public transport in Melbourne than it does by car. The PTUA says above-inflation fare rises over the last decade mean public transport now costs much more than “petrol in the car” for many trips. The PTUA […]

Are public transport trips longer (than car trips)?

November 28, 2011 6

I’ve frequently mentioned that trips by public transport in Melbourne are longer on average than those by car. The exhibit above illustrates that difference using data from the Department of Transport’s VISTA data base. It shows the length of non-work trips in Melbourne by private vehicles versus public transport. For all practical purposes, it’s cars […]

Are these curves moving for the same reasons?

July 3, 2011 8

Back in May I compared the historic level of passenger travel by car in Australia since 1970 against rail and bus, showing the significant flattening in car use from circa 2004-05 and the upturn in travel by public transport. This sort of long term perspective is useful for understanding the relative importance of the changes […]

Is parking the best use of CBD streets?

June 7, 2011 30

Here’s an interesting nugget of information from Melbourne City Council’s new Transport Strategy – there are 4,190 parking spaces in Melbourne’s CBD, of which 3,077 are metered. There are however more than 60,000 off-street parking spaces “in the centre of the city”. That means on-street spaces account for just 6% or so of all city […]

Is commuting killing us?

May 30, 2011 9

Long commutes cause obesity, neck pain, loneliness, divorce, stress, and insomnia. Your commute is in fact killing you, according to this story published in Slate last week. And it’s bad for others too – in his Melbourne address last month, Robert Putnam argued that a ten minute increase in commute time reduces social capital by […]

Is time on transit more productive than driving?

March 15, 2011 13

I regularly hear the argument that time spent travelling on public transport is more enjoyable and more productive than time spent in the driver’s seat of a car. The public transport passenger can read, study, write, listen to music, play games, talk to others and even think without distraction. The driver, on the other hand, […]

Does driving cost less than transit?

March 13, 2011 16

With petrol prices spiking upwards, it’s a good time to examine the relative cost of driving versus public transport. You can save a lot of cash if you’re prepared to live without a car, but you’ll pay in other ways. According to the RACV’s 2010 Driving Your Dollar survey, it costs $10,668 p.a. on average […]

Is this a sensible comparison of cars and public transport?

February 23, 2011

Many readers will have seen this now-ubiquitous chart before – it’s from Melbourne 2030 and has been republished countless times. It shows the proportion of metropolitan jobs accessible within 40 minutes travelling time from different parts of Melbourne by car and by public transport. I’ve never been happy with this chart because its simplicity is deceptive […]

Will networking make public transport the mode of choice?

February 1, 2011 9

According to a report in The Age last month, new research published in the latest issue of Australian Planner shows that higher suburban densities are not a precondition for vastly better public transport. Reporter Andrew West says: City dwellers have been presented with a false choice – live in apartments and enjoy good public transport or […]