Monday, April 29, 2013

Parramatta, Australia conference will discuss free public transport

Green Left Weekly: "The conference panels and workshops will include: Beyond the carbon price: confronting the climate crisis today; No radioactive dump in western Sydney; the case for free public transport; breaking the fossil fuels addiction: towards a zero carbon Australia; and the campaign to stop coal seam gas mining."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Does your city care about #walkability? It should, people are checking this index.

City's walkability lags Tasmania News - The Mercury - The Voice of Tasmania: "HOBART has been caught dawdling in the pedestrian stakes, says a new survey that ranks the Tasmanian capital 19th in a list of Australia's most walkable cities.

The WalkScore rating system, which calculates the ability of residents to live a car-free lifestyle, has Hobart trailing centres including Dubbo, Lismore and Geelong."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Algal fuels promoters have problem right, solution wrong

Algal fuels key to nation's energy independence - On Line Opinion - 23/4/2013: "Just days into a major Middle East or Southeast Asian conflict, Australian cars and trucks could be immobilised, public transport overwhelmed and supplies of life-saving medications would begin running out.
Within a week, shops would be stripped of food and farmers' tractors would be silent.
"Essentially, our society as we know it would cease to function," says former Royal Australian Air Force deputy chief John Blackburn in a recent NRMA report, warning of Australia's extreme vulnerability to an overseas fuel supply disruption."

Much better idea than algal fuels. Gradually abolish the private auto. Start in the cities, by making public transport fare-free and gradually banning cars.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Scottish Socialist Party has long advocated free public transport Scottish Socialist Party has been examining the issue for some time and has been impressed by the experience of the Belgian city of Hasselt, in Flanders.

In 1997 the authorities there faced chronic congestion, poor air quality and pressure from the car lobby. But instead of building more roads they decided on an altogether more radical approach.

They abolished the fares on their entire public transport system.

Critics scoffed at them, said it was madness and forecast that people would never leave their beloved cars just because the bus was free.

Yet in the space of three years passenger numbers in Hasselt increased tenfold from 330,000 in 1996 to 3.7million.

The new scheme also led to lower pollution levels as air quality improved. Road accident rates fell, billions were saved on road building and repairs and social inclusion rates improved markedly.

The Mayor of Hasselt Mr Steve Stevaert was so impressed that he concluded: "We don't need any more new roads, we need new thought highways."

The SSP advocates replicating the remarkable success enjoyed in Hasselt on a nationwide basis by introducing free travel for all passengers on buses, trains, Glasgow's underground system, Edinburgh's trams and ferries.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cars are choking and bankrupting Australia

What can we do about traffic congestion? | The Urbanist: "The economic cost of traffic congestion in cities is estimated to cost the Australian economy $20.4 billion per annum by 2020.

A new report by the Victorian Auditor General, Managing traffic congestion, argues governments need to think harder about ways to deal with the problem.

He says there’s too much attention given to increasing the supply of road space as a way of tackling congestion and not enough to managing demand."

'via Blog this'

Monday, April 15, 2013

Victoria, Australia, traffic congestion costing $3 billion per year

Traffic continues to rise at a rapid rate on the city's freeways and tollways. Photo: Joe Armao

The road to a standstill: "According to the state government, congestion has a significant impact on Victoria's ''productivity and liveability''. Indeed, the economic, social, and environmental costs of congestion have been calculated at more than $3 billion a year, which is expected to rise to $6.1 billion by 2020."

Read more:

Friday, April 5, 2013

A "rat's nest of on and off ramps" for Melbourne

Abbott comment throws doubt on rail, road funding: "''If Tony Abbott is elected, it will be a disaster for inner-city Melbourne,'' he said. ''The suburbs that we love and that make Melbourne consistently one of the world's most liveable cities will be turned into a rat's nest of on and off ramps.''

''To suggest the federal government doesn't have a role in building public transport in major cities like Melbourne is 19th century thinking.''"

'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sydney Australia plans massive #carfree boulevard project

Car-free designs for Sydney's George St: "The city is contributing $220 million to the light rail project to make George Street one of the world's great plazas, with 25,000 square metres of roadway turned into a huge tree-lined pedestrian boulevard."