Taking stock of where we are regarding road capacity and trip time, the existing road capacity provided is only 44% of what can be achieved within the existing footprint. The existing trip time is 40 minutes when it could be 8 minutes. This is on a most important route. Crafting green waves can fix both these problems at no extra cost.
Because of traffic incidents, trip time can blow out by 2 hours, rarely, but on enough occasions to make many trips unreliable.
When Infrastructure Australia report that Melbourne Public Transport recoups only 22% of costs from fares, and presumably that was from low-hanging fruit projects, one would have to be skeptical when all recent projects are purported to “stack up” economically.
These are not funding nor skill issues. There is nothing expensive nor particularly clever about replacing congestion with green waves. It is more about not having sufficient motivation. The review process needs to be effective, and have depth. Better options should be devised.
There should be two parties for an issue, with equal strength, one the provider, to report on an issue, and importantly, clearly and in the public view, and one representing the customers, to vigorously critique the performance. Consultation is not enough.
If a State department produces transport systems, then a strong and parochial Municipal Association might represent the users in some review role, and demand performance measures, preferably dissected by municipality. Other strong user groups may need to be fostered and added to the customer body to achieve a balanced and effective review.
Legacy transport systems, particularly cars and trucks have served us well in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Crafting Green Waves is the way to get the best out of them.
But these systems have been with us for over 100 years, and continual improvements to them, like driver-less cars, are attractive, but are still subject to the law of diminishing returns.
Transport, like many other disciplines, is also capable of a paradigm shift due to high technology, and some of that has been developed and is ready to be brought into production. It is time to seriously consider it and see whether a few persistent transport issues can now be resolved. Read on.