Unique approach

BIC has released a report outlining a unique approach to assessing rapid transit projects

Unique approach
Michael Apps

Rapid transit projects in cities throughout Australia are being funded and developed without proper assessment, according to a report released by the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) today.

Rapid Transit: Investing in Australia’s Future outlines a rigorous approach to assessing Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit projects and more broadly public transport projects for Australian Governments.

BIC Executive Director Michael Apps says what makes this report unique is the approach to assessing rapid transit projects in Australia.

 "This is clearly a role for Infrastructure Australia (IA) if they are allowed to assess public transport infrastructure proposals from States and Territories under the new Federal Government’s IA amendment Bill.

"A rigorous assessment framework is also a tool that could be used by State, Territory and Local Governments to determine priority public transport projects and get value for money."

Apps says the report does not favour either Bus Rapid Transit or Light Rail but instead takes a view that existing public transport systems should be improved and rapid transit built in areas where demand for public transport and land use change were an imperative.

"What we are seeing in capital and major cities throughout Australia is a rush to build rapid transit at any cost, without a proper assessment of how, where, and what should be built," he says.

"The solution is not always build, build, build, especially in a budget constrained environment.

"We have to start thinking about public transport and rapid transit from a whole of network perspective, create a public transport culture first and then meet the growing demand with big projects like Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit."

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