Questioning assumptions about transport trends (presentation to Transport Economics Forum)

Wed 21 March, 2012

On Tuesday 20 March 2012 I gave this presentation to the Transport Economics Forum in Melbourne using material from this blog and some recently released data in BITRE’s Working Paper 127 on traffic growth in Australia. The presentation challenges some orthodox assumptions about transport trends in Australia and Melbourne.

When I get time, I hope to update existing posts to include the most recent data on (the lack of ) traffic growth.

A simple look at passenger transport trends in Australian cities

Sat 25 June, 2011

While I’ve covered passenger transport trends in detail in another post, here are a couple of simple views of the data that provide a pretty stark summary of the recent mode shifts:

Or per capita growth:

I think those charts mostly speak for themselves.

(For the record, the five biggest cities are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide)

By popular demand, here are charts for each city (plus Canberra):


  • These charts have very different scales on the Y axis. Compare with caution.
  • Canberra public transport passenger km (actually just bus passenger kms) is reported as “0.25” billion passenger kms for five straight years, hence the straight green line.
  • While I haven’t drawn the second set of charts for each city, in all cities, car passenger kms per capita have reduced (red lines below blue lines). Public tranpsort passenger kms per capita have increased in all cities except Canberra.

Public transport mode shift and road congestion

Sun 4 July, 2010

Is a modal shift to public transport an effective way to reduce road traffic congestion pressures?

I’ve discussed this issue in a few posts, but I think the following simple chart pretty much sums it all up:

You can see a significant change in both trends from around 2004 onwards.

Arguably public transport mode shift has been the most effective method for relieving congestion pressures in Melbourne in the last five years.

That is not to say traffic congestion has been solved or significantly eased, but it would likely have become much worse if road traffic volumes had continued to grow after 2004-05.

More posts on road traffic and mode shift.