Trams and politics in Melbourne: managing complex adaptations

Scheurer, J and Woodcock, I 2018, 'Trams and politics in Melbourne: managing complex adaptations', in Proceedings of the 8th State of Australian Cities Conference (SOAC 2017), Adelaide, Australia, 28-30 November 2017, pp. 1-11.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Trams and politics in Melbourne: managing complex adaptations
Author(s) Scheurer, J
Woodcock, I
Year 2018
Conference name SOAC 2017
Conference location Adelaide, Australia
Conference dates 28-30 November 2017
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 8th State of Australian Cities Conference (SOAC 2017)
Publisher Analysis and Policy Observatory (APO)
Place of publication Australia
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Abstract Tram patronage in Melbourne has risen to over 200 million passengers annually, its highest since the peaks of the 1950s. Trams in Melbourne continue to be among the world's slowest due to traffic congestion, with many routes operating at or above capacity in peak periods. According to Public Transport Victoria (PTV), these problems result from a boom in apartment construction along inner-city tram routes, with the election-sweetening policy of free trams in the central city also playing a role. This paper explores how the resilience of Melbourne's tram system, and inner urban public transport system in general, has evolved recently in the context of ongoing urban intensification, and it can be secured in the future against the vicissitudes of short political cycles. Melbourne's policies at state and local level encourage activity centre and tram corridor intensification, yet neither level of politics currently has answers to the challenge of significantly enhancing the performance of surface public transport across Melbourne's urban consolidation areas. We draw on the Spatial Network Analysis for Multimodal Urban Transport Systems (SNAMUTS) tool to quantify and illustrate how policies premised on making better use of existing infrastructure require a more active approach to understand the impact of induced demand in relation to intensification. We track data on housing growth, population and public transport performance along key tram corridors between 2006 and 2016. By projecting the implied level of further population increase contained in planning schemes and by testing several scenarios of tram capacity enhancements and network densification, we seek to better understand the relationship between intensification and induced demand and highlight potential pathways out of the dilemma of a burgeoning residential sector in attractive inner urban areas and an increasingly overcrowded tram system.
Subjects Transport Planning
Keyword(s) Trams
transport policy
network performance
urban design
DOI - identifier 10.4225/50/5b2f2ab16eed0
Copyright notice © State of Australian Cities Conference 2017
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