The Conversation, 6 June 2017
A new report from Infrastructure Australia, Improving Public Transport: Customer Focused Franchising, and its associated technical report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), will have state and federal treasurers salivating. The accompanying press release is clearly intended to set their fiscal juices flowing. It suggests that:
… subjecting the operation of Australia’s government-operated bus and rail services to competitive tender processes could save Australian taxpayers up to $15.5 billion by 2040…
The Conversation, 30 May 2017
Gold Coast’s light rail scheme has attracted great interest since the streets of Surfers Paradise were torn up and stations and track were built. Was it worth spending A$1.5 billion on 13km of light rail and more than $40 million a year in subsidies? Are we right to be spending another $420 million on an extension to Helensvale in time for the Commonwealth Games? Should we be taking it all the way down to Gold Coast Airport? Another question is whether gains in property values served by the project could be “captured” to fund such infrastructure.
The Conversation, 18 May 2017
Australia’s capital cities are getting more and more units, that are largely concentrated and come with a hefty price tag, a new report shows. And while these areas also have lots of jobs, the high price for houses means many on low incomes won’t be able to access that employment. Between 2006 and 2014, more than 50% of new units were built in the 20% of local government areas with the highest number of jobs. When compared internationally, it would seem that Australian housing supply has not been as weak as is widely believed. However, the report points to some stark differences in housing supply patterns, emerging across Australia’s capital cities.
The Age, 8 May 2017
The conduct of ticket inspectors on a Melbourne tram has been questioned after claims they demanded a woman show her banking details to prove her identity. Rob Corr was catching a tram home on Sunday afternoon, outside RMIT, when he overheard a Public Transport Victoria ticket inspector ask an overseas student to log into the banking app on her mobile phone.
Independent, 1 November 2016
Germany is set to introduce the world’s first zero-emission passenger train to be powered by hydrogen. The Coradia iLint only emits excess steam into the atmosphere, and provides an alternative to the country’s 4,000 diesel trains.
The Conversation, 11 April 2017
It is vital that public policy be driven by rigorous research. In the last decade key policy changes have had profound impacts on nightlife in Sydney’s inner city and suburbs. The most significant and controversial of these has been the 2014 “lockout laws”. These were a series of legislative and regulatory policies aimed at reducing alcohol-related violence and disorder through new criminal penalties and key trading restrictions, including 1.30am lockouts and a 3am end to service in select urban “hotspots”.
New York Times, 2 April 2017
The secretive ride-hailing giant Uber rarely discusses internal matters in public. But in March, facing crises on multiple fronts, top officials convened a call for reporters to insist that Uber was changing its culture and would no longer tolerate “brilliant jerks.” Notably, the company also announced that it would fix its troubled relationship with drivers, who have complained for years about falling pay and arbitrary treatment.
Sydney Morning Herald, 28 March 2017
Cleaner than a bus and cheaper than light rail, track-free trams could be shuttling passengers along Parramatta Road within the next five years. Track-free trams? Yes, that’s what they’re calling them. And the Inner West Council is pushing the idea as a solution to the transport woes of the Parramatta Road.
Daily Telegraph, 8 February 2017
THE first of several Avalon-made electric buses have hit the Princes Fwy, with the Victorian Greens pushing for State Government investment in the environmentally friendly people-movers. Melbourne MP Ellen Sandell and her Greens colleagues parked the hi-tech bus outside State Parliament before heading inside to call for an inquiry into the benefits of electric vehicles.