The Conversation, 10 October 2017
Transdev, which operates about one-third of Melbourne’s buses, recently had 33 buses taken off the road due to safety defects. Transport Safety Victoria’s action coincides with a review of a three-year rollover of the French company’s A$1.7 billion contract. The contract was announced in 2013 following competitive tendering. This confluence of events raises at least two questions about contracting for transport services. Australian state governments should reflect on whether competitive tendering necessarily delivers the best outcomes for the public, and on the role of operator performance in contract renewal.
Posts from the ‘Planning’ Category
The Conversation, 10 October 2017
The Guardian, 5 October 2017
The scale of London’s air pollution crisis was laid bare on Wednesday, with new figures showing that every person in the capital is breathing air that exceeds global guidelines for one of the most dangerous toxic particles. The research, based on the latest updated London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory, shows that every area in the capital exceeds World Health Organisation (WHO) limits for a damaging type of particle known as PM2.5.
New York Times, 30 September 2017
Airports are a major global business, part of an industry that by one estimate transports the equivalent of nearly half the world’s population in a single year. But the world’s airports were largely designed for an older era — a cooler one.
Huffington Post, 2 October 2017
Paris has pulled off its most ambitious ‘car-free day’ yet, with 105 square kilometres of the French capital set aside for pedestrians and cyclists. In its third year, the ban on all private cars and motorised bikes took place between 11am and 6pm on Sunday in a fight against air pollution in the city. The only exceptions were for taxis, public transport and emergency vehicles — and if police caught Parisians driving, they faced fines of up to $200.
The Conversation, 3 October 2017
The equation doesn’t look pretty. Traffic congestion costs us billions of dollars each year – so we are told – and population growth is not letting up. When road rage meets large economic costs, it’s little wonder our politicians are desperate to do something. The trouble is, too often that “something” is a great big new freeway. Building more roads isn’t the best answer, because the roads we have are mostly up to the job – if only we could make better use of them by spreading traffic out beyond the morning and evening peaks.
The Conversation, 27 September 2017
Governments at all levels invest a lot in greening Australian suburbs. Yet, in a recent report, we show that the greening efforts of most of our metropolitan local governments are actually going backwards.
This is a puzzle, as greening has clear environmental and economic benefits. The environmental benefits are obvious and relatively easy to count. For private home owners, numerous studies have linked greening to a range of economic benefits from energy savings to higher house prices. So how do we explain the loss of green cover?
REnew economy, 22 September 2017
Australia set a new record for wind energy production on August 16, producing an average 3,629MW over one 30 minute settlement period to the National Electricity Market (which doesn’t include W.A. or the Northern Territory). The record, noted by Hugh Saddler in The Australia Institute-sponsored monthly update of emissions and energy supply, meant that wind energy counted for more than 17 per cent of total grid demand.
REnew economy, 26 September 2017
Elon Musk has a busy month in front of him, as he usually does. This Friday, he will address a space industry conference in Adelaide about his plans for human life on Mars, and then is widely expected to deliver some major news on the Tesla big battery at the Hornsdale wind farm later that evening. A month later, Musk will unveil the latest of his technology developments that promise to turn an existing industry upside down – the Tesla Semi, a very big electric truck.
WA Today, 26 September 2017
Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, apologised in an open letter Monday for the company’s “mistakes,” after the transport authority for London said last week that it would not renew the ride-hailing service’s license to operate in the city. “While Uber has revolutionised the way people move in cities around the world, it’s equally true that we’ve got things wrong along the way,” Khosrowshahi wrote. “On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologise for the mistakes we’ve made.”