Infrastructure Victoria’s (IV) latest report into transport congestion solutions provides notable examples of where we can better utilise our existing infrastructure.
“While RACV has long-called for better infrastructure for Victorians, we also understand the need for better use of our existing infrastructure. It is therefore good to see Infrastructure Victoria provide some important points of discussion on how we can improve our road and public transport systems”, RACV’s General Manager of Public Policy and Corporate Affairs, Bryce Prosser said.
IV’s recommendation to introduce off-peak fares is a sensible option which has the potential to reduce road and public transport peak-hour congestion if commuters can easily change at least one of their daily trips from peak hour.
Likewise, IV’s recommendation to review underperforming bus routes mirrors RACV’s advocacy in this area through our recent Growing Pains report. Of particular interest is IV’s proposal to look at replacing low-demand routes with on-demand bus services. RACV is committed to development of ‘last-mile’ transport solutions as evident in our participation on La Trobe’s ‘Autonobus’.
“RACV believes there is great merit in on-demand transport solutions assisting at the ‘last mile’, and our expertise through the Autonobus trial, as well as our upcoming road user research with the University of Melbourne can certainly help in developing these solutions”, Mr Prosser said.
Better allocation of road space was also a key issue in IV’s report and is something RACV is committed to advocating for. The removal of car parking along major arterials including Hoddle Street, St Kilda Rd and Sydney Road must be implemented to improve traffic flow.
“Car parking is the least economic use of valuable road space. When looking at better ways to transport people along roads, trams, bicycles and moving cars should always be prioritised over parked cars”, Mr Prosser said.
On expanding the car park levy, RACV notes that state and local governments must clearly demonstrate that the revenue raised from this levy is being put to credible transport initiatives.
“While RACV is not opposed to the principle of an expanded car park levy on commercial long term parking spaces, there must be a strong case for the geographical expansion of the levy outside of the CBD. The levy also must not materially impact residents in suburban areas; and the money raised must be credibly used to improve local transport outcomes. If these caveats cannot be met, the proposal will carry little public support”, Mr Prosser said.
Mr Prosser praised the work of IV, believing that this report complements many of RACV’s long held policies, and will assist in the wider transport discussion.