Advances in technology continue to impact our lives every day. Technology as simple as our mobile phones enables us to better coordinate work, exercise, appointments, running to the shops and visiting friends and family. In terms of travel, for many of us paper maps have been replaced by GPS devices or smartphone apps. Tools such as tram and train tracking apps allow us to know when the next service is due to arrive and we no longer rely on printed timetables.
With Melbourne growing each week there is more demand than ever for every metre of roadway, railway track and footpath. To cater for the 10 million journeys each week across our state we need to do all we can to make the most of what we already have. By making better use of our existing network, not only will we be able to travel more easily, any financial savings can be reinvested into better services for everyone.
RACV believes that what is missing in Victoria is a coordinated control centre that could centrally manage our entire transport network. Enabling the existing control rooms for buses, trams, trains, public roads and toll roads to work together would mean that disruptions could be better managed, emergencies
responded to faster, and improved information provided to us all so we can more effectively manage our daily travels.
We are already in a position to use today’s technology to help inform how we embrace Melbourne’s growth. RACV is currently involved in a trial being run at Melbourne University which looks at how we can combine a range of data sources to inform a central “brain” which would manage our transport system. In the short term, this brain could be used to manage the flow of traffic and the priority given to different transport modes. In the long term, the data collected and the insights learned will be able to assist planners to make better decisions when it comes to planning investments in Victoria’s infrastructure.
While the principles may be simple, the benefits are considerable and, in the end, the purpose is to create an improved transport system for Victoria which enables each of us to better manage our trips and, ultimately, save us time. A more connected network would result in an integrated transport system that is more efficient, responsive and safer to support us in whichever way we choose to travel.
Netta M Griffin
President & Chairman of the Board