Monday, January 12, 2009

Sprawling transport not up to par

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...

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