Australia’s big cities often rate well on international ‘liveability’ indexes. But all is not as it seems. Life for many residents in Australia’s cities isn’t nearly as good as we would like to believe, a new report from RMIT University has found. The new ‘Creating Liveable Cities in Australia’ study is the culmination of five […]
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RMIT University[/caption] Australia’s big cities often rate well on international ‘liveability’ indexes. But all is not as it seems. Life for many residents in Australia’s cities isn’t nearly as good as we would like to believe, a new report from RMIT University has found. The new ‘Creating Liveable Cities in Australia’ study is the culmination of five years of research, intended to create a baseline measure of liveability in Australia’s state and territory capitals. The report examines seven aspects of a city’s liveability: walkability, public transport, public open spaces, housing affordability, employment and the food and alcohol environments. “No Australian capital city performs well across all the liveability indicators,” says Professor Billie Giles-Corti, who led the research and is Director of RMIT’s Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform. “Many also failing to meet policy targets aimed at ensuring liveability. “There is widespread evidence of geographical inequities in the delivery of liveability policies within and between cities, with outer suburban areas less well served than inner-city suburbs. Measurable policies and targets to deliver liveable communities are often not in place, and often those that are in place are not strong enough. “Many policies aren’t making best use of the available evidence. There are no spatial measurable policy standards or targets in any capital city for local employment, housing affordability, promoting access to healthy food choices, or limiting access to alcohol outlets.” Professor Giles-Corti said the report is the first of its kind, and shows that better policies are urgently needed to maintain and enhance liveability and ensure the wellbeing of residents, particularly as Australia faces a doubling of its population by 2050. “One significant way to create liveable cities and to improve people’s health and wellbeing is through urban design and planning that create walkable, pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods,” she said. “But Australian cities are still being designed for cars. “Our study shows that only a minority of residents in Australian cities live in walkable communities, and most of our city’s density targets for new areas are still too low. This means walkable communities will never be achieved in outer suburbs. “Higher residential densities and street connectivity, mixed land-uses, and high-quality footpaths are all desperately needed to achieve walkable cities. But we don’t have the policy frameworks in place in Australia to create vibrant walkable communities,” she said. Public transport also rates poorly. “While many residents might live nearby a public transport stop, most dwellings in state capitals lack close access to stops serviced at least twice an hour. This creates a risk of increasing inequity in our cities, with some residents doubly disadvantaged. “Given that outer suburbs have poorer access to public transport, household expenditure on cars is likely to be higher there than in other areas, meaning these residents are losing out twice over.” Professor Giles-Corti said the report is a useful diagnostic tool for understanding the current state of liveability in Australian cities, and that could it should be repeated regularly. “What’s even more important is what governments should do about it,” she said. :We’ve made seven recommendations in the report which we’ll be pushing to see adopted at local, state and federal level.” The report was produced by RMIT University in collaboration with researchers from the Australian Catholic University and the University of Western Australia. The research team received funding from the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub of the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program, the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, and the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Liveable Communities. The report is available here. [post_title] => Australia’s cities not so ‘liveable’ after all [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => australias-cities-not-liveable [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-16 13:02:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-16 02:02:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28280 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27939 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-31 15:12:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-31 05:12:30 [post_content] => Shannon Gillespie Today, everyone knows that an idea isn’t a good one until it ‘trends’. Last year, the City of Sydney’s Zero Waste marketing campaign featured the creation of an outdoor vinyl sticker campaign that made use of clever situational placement and optical illusions to highlight the problem of dumping household waste throughout the city. Designed for city dwellers to interact with, each piece was customised to its environment to amuse and educate people about the city’s free pickup service. One of the installations was a giant stack of household waste on the side of a building that increased in size every week for three weeks. As a by-product, the hashtag #freepickup and bookafreepickup.com site shot to stardom as people snapped and shared photos of themselves with old fridges, washing machines and the like in odd, but memorable, locations such as the middle of a cycle path. The result, the City claims, was “a virtual doubling of the number of calls to the free pickup service within a week of installation”. Imagine if we took the principles of this social marketing campaign and applied it to our engineering problems. How often do we spend megabucks on infrastructure projects, but do relatively little, if anything, to educate people about the right way to operate infrastructure or to change their behaviours when using it? The 2000 Sydney Olympics was hailed as “the best organised Olympic Games ever” and was the epitome of how an effective marketing and communications plan can solve complex problems. With a population of four million people and an expected influx of half a million visitors to Sydney for the Olympic Games, drastic measures were required to cope with the pressure on infrastructure. But instead of focusing on developing new transport infrastructure, a major public communications plan was executed to modify the travel behaviour of visitors and spectators. The message was simple – Olympic transport will be different but will work well. And it did! The Sydney Olympic Games achieved the first-ever 100 per cent spectator accessibility by public transport. As engineers, our natural response is to design highly sophisticated and intelligent infrastructure that automatically adapts itself to meet the demand. We design complex and expensive control systems to control infrastructures performance and operation. The infrastructure is designed to modulate in response to the variables which, in most cases, are people. But are we looking at society’s complex challenges through the wrong lens? The recent heatwave in South Australia put pressure on the state’s electricity network due to people turning on their air conditioning. As a consequence, 90 000 properties suffered a blackout during load shedding at the end of a 42 degrees Celsius day. While the problem appears to have been a technical one, could we not have modified the behaviour of the people? Experts say that in order to conserve energy in a heatwave, people should not lower their air conditioning below 26 degrees Celsius – this has nothing to do with the comfort of individuals but everything to do with avoiding a catastrophic power outage. Whilst it may not be a long-term solution, an effective marketing campaign would help solve the problem in the interim. We are living in a world where more than ever before, we need our facilities to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible ̶ not only from an environmental perspective but also from optimising the use of capital. According to the World Economic Forum, global spending on basic infrastructure – transport, water and communications – currently totals USD 2.7 trillion a year, USD 1 trillion short of what is needed. The difference is nearly as large as South Korea’s GDP. As pressure on our natural and economic resources increases, so too does our ability to design effective infrastructure projects. If engineers treated marketing as another tool in their toolkit, how many of our complex infrastructure problems could be solved? How many millions of dollars could be saved on new infrastructure projects simply through marketing campaigns targeted at changing user behaviour? More and more, engineers should be telling their clients that a well-designed behavioural campaign should go hand in hand with a well-designed infrastructure project. In future, we might see Marketing Fundamentals become a standard feature of the Bachelor of Engineering curriculum. Shannon Gillespie is with Aurecon. [post_title] => Facebook and infrastructure [post_excerpt] => What does Facebook have to do with infrastructure? Everything, it would seem! [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => facebook-and-infrastructure [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-31 20:02:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-31 10:02:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27939 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27546 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-07-05 15:24:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-05 05:24:04 [post_content] => On 15 May 2017, the NSW Government announced it will open the Inner West and Southwestern suburbs of Sydney public bus services to tender. These services are currently operated by the government-owned State Transit Authority of NSW (STA) under contract to Transport for NSW (TfNSW) and include approximately 223 routes servicing Lidcombe, Strathfield, Burwood, Five Dock, Ashfield, Marrickville, Kogarah, Leichhardt, Newtown, Balmain, Glebe, Pyrmont and the CBD. The government will make existing assets available to the new operator, including depots at Burwood, Kingsgrove, Tempe and Leichardt. The government will also continue to set fares and regulate safety and operational standards. The contracts may go up to ten years before re-tendering is required. Travelling public not happy: Commuter Day of Action collects hundreds of signatures Bus drivers and campaign volunteers hit bus stops across Sydney, distributing flyers and talking to commuters as part of the ‘Don’t Sell Our Buses Campaign - Day of Action’ in protest of Transport Minister Constance’s plans to privatise Sydney’s buses. RTBU Bus and Tram Secretary Chris Preston said the ‘Commuter Day of Action’ was organised to inform the public about what is about to happen to their bus services and how they can do something about it. “Bus drivers and campaign volunteers hit the busiest bus stops right across the city to let people know that Andrew Constance is selling off their buses. “The ‘Don’t Sell Our Buses’ campaign has had excellent community support at the events we’ve held in Marrickville, Leichhardt and in the city of Sydney. Many of the volunteers out today had attended those meetings.” 120 rail replacement buses promised for North Shore In the meantime, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance promised to spend $49 on more than 120 new buses, extra routes and thousands of added bus services to keep commuters moving during the upgrading of the Epping to Chatswood line in late 2018 ahead of the start of Sydney Metro. During the upgrade, travellers will have access to seven new bus routes that will connect customers to impacted stations every six minutes at peak times, including a dedicated shuttle service to Macquarie University. Whether the new services (and the rest of the Sydney bus network) may later be offered up for private tender is an issue that has not been addressed by the government. [post_title] => NSW Government opens bus privatisation tender [post_excerpt] => Bus drivers continue their campaign against the privatisation of 223 bus services in Sydney. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-government-opens-bus-privatisation-tender [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-05 15:24:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-05 05:24:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27546 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27524 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-07-03 20:17:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-03 10:17:02 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27525" align="alignnone" width="300"] Sydney Metro is expected to take a large number of the new apprentices. Barangaroo Station shown.[/caption] The Australian and NSW Governments are to open what they say are Australia’s first one-stop-shop training centres for infrastructure jobs and skills training to meet the demands of Sydney’s infrastructure program, including Sydney Metro and the Western Sydney Airport (Badgery’s Creek). In a joint project between the Australian Government, the NSW Government’s Sydney Metro project, and TAFE NSW’s three infrastructure skills centres in Annandale, Nirimba and Ingleburn, these colleges will engage “industry experienced teachers to train apprentices, trainees and a new generation of workers”. The NSW Government is providing $4.97 million of the total cost of approximately $6 million through TAFE NSW, with a capital grant from the Australian Government of $950,000. This funding will enable a dedicated services provider to operate on-site, as well as secure equipment to support pre-employment training courses. It is not known whether the “dedicated services provider” will be TAFE NSW itself or an outside contractor/s leasing premises from TAFE. NSW Assistant Minister for Skills Adam Marshall said the network of three TAFE NSW campuses delivering specialist training centres would be Australia’s first one-stop infrastructure-focused skills centres. “The three infrastructure skills centres will extend TAFE NSW’s training services to other infrastructure projects and large construction projects such as Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Parramatta Square and the Western Sydney Stadium,” Mr Marshall said. The NSW Infrastructure Skills Centre at Annandale was designed in conjunction with Sydney Metro to address skills and jobs requirements across the project. A majority of Sydney Metro’s workforce will undertake accredited pre-commencement training at the centre, addressing critical skills gaps and support the transferability of skills to workers as well as encourage them to pursue further learning. Tailored pre-employment training will be available to a range of special groups including young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse individuals, and women working in non-traditional roles. Fourteen Indigenous job seekers have already graduated from the centre’s first pre-employment training course, with the majority having been interviewed for jobs on the Sydney Metro project. Many of the successful candidates will also commence training for a Certificate II in Civil Construction to further develop their skills. Sydney Metro anticipates more than 500 entry-level employees will undertake training through the Infrastructure Skills Centre over five years. TAFE NSW will also deliver training to more than 20,000 workers over the next five years through the Infrastructure Skills Centres supporting major construction projects, including Sydney Metro. [post_title] => TAFE back in favour: governments set up building centres [post_excerpt] => TAFE NSW is to open three dedicated infrastructure skills centres. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => tafe-back-favour-governments-set-building-centres [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-03 20:17:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-03 10:17:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27524 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26379 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-03-01 10:41:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-28 23:41:21 [post_content] => By Laura Bliss The more important question is how ride services factor into cities’ goals for mobility. A new analysis of New York City shows why. At 11 p.m. on a Thursday in February, two friends in Brooklyn are preparing for a trip home from Park Slope to Bed-Stuy. They’re both new in town, and they study their Google Maps options closely: Taking the subway means a 15-minute walk to a station on the F line, where their train coming in from Manhattan had been delayed 20 minutes. Then they’d have to transfer to the C, with a likely wait time of 10 or 15 minutes. To travel three miles, this could be an hour-long adventure. The friends could probably walk in the same amount of time, or pedal home in 20 minutes using bike-share, but the weather is freezing. They check Lyft: Splitting a pooled ride with one another (and perhaps an extra stranger) means paying $7 for a roughly 25-minute trip in a sweetly overheated sedan, directly to their doors. The choice is very clear. Do stories like these explain the declining passenger base of transit agencies across the U.S.? Amid the rise of transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft, this logic goes, travelers will pay extra for a lot of added convenience, leaving transit options—which leave a lot to be desired—to waste. Read more here. This story first appeared in CityLab and appears here by kind permission of the author. [post_title] => Stop asking whether Uber is transit's enemy [post_excerpt] => Ride sharing and public transport. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => stop-asking-whether-uber-is-transits-enemy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-01 10:41:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-28 23:41:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26379 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26270 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-02-17 10:38:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-16 23:38:57 [post_content] =>By Deborah Jackson, Editor National Liquor News A proposal to ban alcohol advertising on public transport in Western Australia has been slammed by the alcohol industry. The Western Australia Labor party has announced that a future Labor Government would honour current advertising contracts but would ban all new advertising of alcohol-related products on public transport. It is understood that the Liberal-led Government does not support a ban because advertising on public transport generates about $7 million in revenue per year of which about 10 per cent is generated through alcohol-related advertising, and all advertising on public assets must comply with industry advertising standards, which is the case in WA. Fergus Taylor, the Executive Director of Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA) said that the Labor Government's stance is poorly thought out and is not supported by credible research or data. “This is a poor policy decision taken on the run without industry consultation and isn’t even supported by official Government data,” Taylor said. “The government has made a sensible decision to reject this proposal after a more thorough assessment of the evidence. Read more here. This story first appeared in The Shout. [post_title] => Proposed booze advertising ban on WA public transport [post_excerpt] => But $7m revenue at stake. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => booze-ban-wa-public-transport [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-17 11:39:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-17 00:39:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26270 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24142 [post_author] => 671 [post_date] => 2016-12-20 14:00:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-20 03:00:15 [post_content] =>
Double decker buses will soon become a common sight on Sydney’s streets once more after the New South Wales Government revealed it will commission a proper fleet of the high capacity vehicles to boost capacity on crowded runs as part of a $108 million service boost and refresh in the 2016-17 NSW Budget
Exact details on who will manufacture and how many of the new 80-seat beasts will be deployed are still to be finalised, but the firm commitment to reinstate double deckers into mainstream route service in Sydney cements major turnaround in public transport thinking 30-years after the last Leyland Atlantean made its from Wynyard to Avalon in May 1986.
While the Baird Government started trialling Bustech double deckers North-West T-Way at the end of August 2012, the pre-Budget essentially embeds the top deck vehicles as part of the city’s core fleet for the foreseeable future.
The announcement is also the second major public transport ‘back to the future’ flip for Transport for NSW after the commitment to reinstate light rail services (or heavy trams) in the city and eastern suburbs, with deployments in the West also highly likely to be commissioned.Heavy crowding and more demand than capacity during peak-hour services for Sydney buses has been a serious and persistent problem for at least the last decade, as urban renewal and residential infill push more commuters onto the bus system. The biggest headaches for authorities and commuters alike include passengers who are closer to a bus route destination often missing out on scheduled morning trips because vehicles are filled to capacity well before they get near their terminus. Efforts to deploy more, larger single decker and articulated or ‘bendy’ busses have also created knock-on effects as busses get stuck long queues to unload passengers on approaches to the city and other major centres. A big benefit of double decker buses is that even though they carry 65 per cent more passengers than regular buses – 130 people when completely full on seated and standing capacity – they only occupy the space of a single bus making it easier to cram more services into smaller areas and tighter streets. With major residential developments now replacing industrial real estate on the city fringe, authorities are looking to boost both capacity and frequency. “Thousands of Sydneysiders rely on bus travel every day to get from A to B and we know demand for services is continually increasing, particularly in growth centres in the North West and South West, as well as in inner city areas like Green Square,” said NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance.
“Since coming to office, the NSW Government has delivered more than 15,800 extra weekly public transport services for customers and today’s announcement is further proof that we’re committed to putting on even more where and when they’re needed most.
“This is all about staying ahead of the curve to ensure customers have sufficient levels of service well into the future.”For people that remember Sydney’s original double decker bus fleet, it’s actually more like replacing something many feel, like trams, should never have been taken away in the first place. Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian – who spearheaded many of the key public transit reforms when she held the Transport portfolio – said the upcoming NSW Budget would continue to fund more services and infrastructure. “These double decker buses have allowed us to deliver good customer outcomes and we are pleased to be rolling out more of them across Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said before cataloguing where new money was going to be spent. The Treasurer said that under the NSW Budget 2016-16 commitment, 12 new or extended routes will come online. They include a new cross suburban link between the Inner West and Lower North Shore, all night services seven days a week for Green Square and Zetland as well as Abbotsford, Five Dock and Rouse Hill on weekends. The addition of new all-night services has long been called for by groups representing essential services and the hospitality sector where the availability and cost of labour have been hit by the shortage of car spaces and a lack of alternative transport options. Fleet renewal and replacement is also a strong focus, with older non-air conditioned buses finally dropped from service in favour of climate controlled accessible (or ‘kneeling’) busses that allow wheelchair users to roll-on and roll-off regular services – an important addition given many older Sydney railway stations still don’t have lifts. Specifics for the 2016/17 Growth Bus Services Program Western Sydney (including Hills District and South West) More than 1,350 new weekly trips, including 5 new or extended routes.
- New route 605 (North Kellyville to Rouse Hill Town Centre)
- Extended route 751 (Marsden Park to Blacktown via Colebee)
- Extended route T72 (Blacktown to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Alex Avenue)
- Extended route T74 (Blacktown to Riverstone via Hambledon Road)
- Extended route 783 (Penrith to Jordan Springs)
- 607X (Rouse Hill to City via M2)
- 610X/M61 (Rouse Hill and Castle Hill to City M2)
- 611 (Blacktown to Macquarie Park via M2)
- 615X (North Kellyville to City via M2)
- 619 (Rouse Hill to Macquarie Park via Kellyville and M2)
- 620X-621 (Castle Hill and Cherrybrook to Macquarie Park and City via M2)
- 700 (Blacktown to Parramatta via Prospect)
- 740 (Plumpton to Macquarie Park via M2)
- 841 (Narellan to Leppington)
- T65 (Rouse Hill to Parramatta via Westmead)
- T80 (Liverpool to Parramatta via Bonnyrigg)
- New route 530 (Burwood to Chatswood via Five Dock, Hunters Hill and Lane Cove)
- New route 985 (Miranda to Cronulla via Woolooware Shores)
- Various Northern Beaches routes between Mona Vale and the City
- 197 (Mona Vale to Macquarie Park via Terrey Hills)
- 270-274 (Frenchs Forest District to City)
- 343 (Kingsford to City)
- 370 (Leichhardt to Coogee)
- 433 (Balmain to Railway Square via Harold Park)
- 477 (Miranda to Rockdale via Sans Souci)
- 506 (Macquarie University and East Ryde to City via Hunters Hill)
- 518 (Macquarie University to City via Ryde)
- M20 (Zetland to Wynyard via Central Station)
- M41 (Burwood to Macquarie Park via Ryde)
- 301 (Zetland to City via Surry Hills) – seven days
- 438 (Abbotsford to City via Five Dock and Leichhardt) – Friday and Saturday only
- 607X (Rouse Hill to City via M2) – Friday and Saturday only
- New route 178 (Anambah to Rutherford)
- Extended routes 260 and 261 (Minmi and Fletcher to Jesmond and University)
- Extended route 40 (Gosford – Wyoming)
- Enhanced services on routes 67 and 68 between Terrigal and Gosford
- Enhanced services on route 33 between Gosford and Mangrove Mountain
- New route 75 (Tullimbar to Stockland Shellharbour)
- Extended route 32 (Dapto to Brooks Reach)
- Enhanced services on route 1 between Austinmer and Wollongong
- Enhanced services on routes 31-33 between Wollongong and Dapto District
- Enhanced services on route 34 between Warrawong and Wollongong
By Feargus O'Sullivan This story first appeared in City Lab and is published here with kind permission from the author. For senior Berliners, there may be something strangely familiar about the latest batch of trains destined for the Berlin subway system. They actually first served the city back in the 1950s. In an unlikely decision-making twist, the system has decided to delve into its history, renovating trains constructed to run on its tracks before the city was cut in two in 1961. So old are the D and DL series trains — affectionately known as “Doras” — that there’s only one city where they are still in daily use. That’s the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, to which Berlin sold 105 trains at the end of the 1990s. The idea of recomissioning 60-year-old carriages will no doubt get train-spotters drooling, but there’s a pragmatic reason why the trains are coming back. Berlin has a desperate shortage of rolling stock. City transit body BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe) wants to avoid the costs of buying more engines and reckons it can renovate and re-kit three of the old trains for just €1.9 million — a snip compared to what three entirely new trains would cost. Three trains won’t make a whole lot of difference across an entire city, of course, which is why the refitted wagons will be confined to a single line. This is arguably the smartest part of the plan. By running on Berlin’s Line U55 from spring 2017, the 1950s trains should attract tourists to what could be Berlin’s biggest transit white elephant. Read more here. [post_title] => Berlin is bringing back subway trains from the 1950s [post_excerpt] => Say hello (again) to the Dora. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => berlin-bringing-back-subway-trains-1950s [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-11 10:05:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-10 23:05:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25510 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24575 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-08-02 05:00:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-01 19:00:17 [post_content] => August 1 is D-Day for public transport passengers who have not yet bought an Opal card, with the threat of fines of up to $550 if passengers do not possess an Opal card or a single use ticket before travelling, as criticisms of the new regime roll in. While NSW Transport has promised leniency for passengers boarding without a ticket or an Opal card – they can receive a caution rather than an on-the-spot fine - there have been complaints that there are insufficient ticket and top-up machines and stories of long queues or of machines being broken. How much leniency ticket inspectors are able to show is open to question. Transport NSW has a list of unacceptable excuses on its website which includes: “I’ve lost my ticket”, “I was running late” and “I didn’t know what kind of ticket to buy.” Interestingly, putting your feet on the seats or littering can incur a fine of up to $1,100: twice the cost of the maximum penalty for fare evasion. A spokesperson for Transport NSW said transport officers had been told to exercise restraint in the early stages of the new system. “From next week staff will educate customers who genuinely appear to have not realised that paper tickets were being retired on 1 August. They will explain all customers require an appropriate Opal card or Opal single trip ticket to travel. “Staff as usual will use discretion when dealing with customers who are genuinely confused on the arrangements for travelling, however customers need to understand that fines apply to those people trying to rort the situation to evade paying their fare.” The Opposition has claimed that the Baird Government is “picking on pensioners and seniors” by not allowing them to access discounted single use tickets. The single tickets that are sold cost at least 20 per cent more than using an Opal card. While it’s simple to buy Opal cards for adults or children from retailers, the Gold Opal card for discount travel for seniors, pensioners or those on income support must be ordered online and can take up to 10 days to arrive in the post. Shadow Transport Minister Jodi McKay said the government had not done enough to communicate how long it took to get an Opal card. “There will be plenty of pensioners out there who won’t have got the message that today is the last day they have to apply for an Opal card,” Ms McKay said. “The government is removing choice and forcing pensioners to go online to top up their card when for many older people they like the convenience of going to a booth to pay cash.” Shadow Minister for Ageing Sophie Cotsis said Premier Mike Baird was forcing pensioners to get a Gold Opal card, event thought it could easily sell them a $2.50 single use ticket, the concession price. “When it comes to our public transport system, pensioners and seniors are being left disadvantaged. The government is making it harder for seniors and pensioners to travel in NSW," Ms Cotsis said. “This means that pensioners who use public transport infrequently or who leave their Gold Opal Card at home will be forced to pay a higher price for a single use ticket. It’s not fair.” NSW Labor is demanding the government makes discounted tickets available from machines for concession card holders and to give people longer to get an Opal card. Other concerns have arisen from non-governmental organisations, who say that doing away with paper tickets could penalise homeless people because they need to apply for a Gold Opal card online and get it delivered to a secure address. Some organisations used to give those in need single bus or train tickets or the $2.50 all-day concession fare but this is no longer possible. Meanwhile with the demise of paper tickets, the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia is renewing its push for a tourist Opal card, similar to those available in cities like London, Paris and Stockholm to make things simpler for visitors. CEO of TTF, Margy Osmond said tourist tickets should be tied into discounts for entry into major tourist attractions, such as Taronga Zoo. “Visitors, holidaymakers and business delegates are not your average city commuter. They are here for a limited period and are looking for a transport solution that is easy to understand and takes the confusion out of loading travel cards with money,” Ms Osmond said. “In other cities across Australia and the world, local transport agencies have developed dedicated tourist travel cards that make it easy to hop on a train, bus, tram or ferry to see the sights. “They also provide the opportunity to be packaged as part of a broader tourism experience with access or discounts for major attractions, exhibitions and cultural institutions included with the card.” For its part, the NSW government is heralding the final roll-out of Opal cards and the banishment of paper tickets as a thumping success. NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said eight million Opal cards had been issued since their introduction in December 2012, with 350,000 sold in the last month, as passengers became aware of paper tickets stopping. “Today is the start of a new and exciting chapter in our public transport system,” Mr Constance said. “Once you get your Opal it’s in your wallet or purse and you don’t have to worry about it again.” He said that customers who left their cards at home by mistake could still buy a single trip ticket for trains or light rail stations or ferry wharfs, or on board buses and that there were more than 2,000 retail outlets where people could buy adult or child Opal cards. “The best way to beat the queues at top up machines is to set your card to auto top up via your debit card or download the Opal Travel App so you can top up on the go on your mobile phone,” Mr Constance said. [post_title] => Opal: the card that launched a thousand gripes [post_excerpt] => Paper tickets abandoned. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 24575 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-08-02 09:42:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-08-01 23:42:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24575 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24100 [post_author] => 671 [post_date] => 2016-06-09 13:06:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-06-09 03:06:49 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_24101" align="alignnone" width="300"] Cycling and adventure sports are now a big tourism drawcard. pic: Stromlo Forest Park[/caption] Australia’s national capital of Canberra will try and shake off the blues of major public service cuts that have ravaged its local economy by trying to entice more tourists to spend their time and money in the designer city through a major $7.3 million advertising push. Undeterred by persistent badmouthing by fly-in fly-out federal politicians, Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Andrew Barr is opening the capital’s destination chequebook to try showcase the Canberra’s other attractions in an effort to try and diversify its economy. Large fluctuations in public service numbers have for decades acted as an inhibitor to private sector businesses outside of the government realm flourishing in the so-called garden city. But with a stable population that’s now nudging 400,000 inhabitants, the ACT Government is redoubling efforts to create a more diverse local economy for Canberra that’s largely independent of the public sector and resilient to its peaks and troughs. Federally administered national major cultural institutions like the National Gallery of Australia still provide a prominent tourism drawcard, however ACT Government is clearly keen to give its other tourist and visitor assets – particularly major events, food and wine experiences and outdoor recreation – a major push. One of Canberra’s major historical drawbacks for tourists – relatively sparse public transport services – are also finally getting a major boost with increased substantially bus services around the city centre and major institutions. With most capital cities now in the grip of a serious rise in recreational and commuter cycling, Canberra’s long established network of separated cycleways and dedicated bike infrastructure like the massive Stromlo Park mountain and road bike facility are also getting major improvements to cater to more visitors, including the addition of a pool. Industry groups are heartily cheering on the Canberra tourism push. “Tourism is a key driver of the ACT economy, and the Barr Government appears to be embracing the concept of diversifying the Territory economy through greater support of tourism and events,” said Margy Osmond, chief executive of the Tourism and Transport Forum. Ms Osmond said the Government’s investment of $70 million in public transport, including establishing a free ‘City Loop’ bus service, funding for additional buses and new services, progressing the introduction of an integrated ticketing system and improving walking and cycling infrastructure would benefit the visitor economy. However it’s the long-awaited commencement of regular scheduled international flights to the city that has the TTF most fired up, especially the potential to attract visitors from Asia, particularly China. “The key for the ACT Government will be to leverage the new international flights opportunity to its full potential, ensuring that it is the first of many new services that will link Canberra to the burgeoning Asia-Pacific and beyond,” Ms Osmond said. “Chief Minister Barr has been a strong advocate for the ACT visitor economy with his personal efforts to secure Singapore Airlines as Canberra’s first international airline and the work to attract more Chinese visitors as part of Australia China Business Week.” [post_title] => Canberra launches major tourism push to diversify economy [post_excerpt] => Budget money for big events, public transport. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => tourists-to-diversify-canberra-economy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-06-09 22:30:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-06-09 12:30:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24100 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24085 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-06-07 10:20:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-06-07 00:20:10 [post_content] => Transport infrastructure planning expert Diane Legge Kemp has seen some public transport disasters in her time but there have also been some real wins for communities in the form of well-designed and imaginatively funded public transport projects. Ms Legge Kemp, who is the Vice President of design consultancy CallisonRTKL, is based in Hong Kong but she has worked in many major cities including New York, Shanghai LA and Chicago. She spoke to Government News while in Sydney for Green Building Day about properly planning good public transport infrastructure and how multi-million dollar projects can be let down by scrappy preparation. Because infrastructure can take decades to deliver, planning needs to begin many years in advance so that projects are ready to go when the funding and political will to do them eventually coincide. Legge says: “Sydney is tossing around the idea of high speed rail. Well, even it is 15 years from now it needs to be planned. All the pieces have to be in place, notwithstanding funding." Tips to success
- Integrate the planning process
- Intermodal connectivity
- Don’t fear density
- Consider the social aspect
- Urban fabric
- Mixed use
- Designing transport hubs to fit each location
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