How to design a system to better meet transport objectives

Submitted by john on Tue, 17/12/2019 - 20:25

Proper oversight of the transport system will identify and address broad outstanding issues, using solutions that are most likely to have a satisfactory outcome, from the available options, including those currently under development. The following steps apply here:

1. Transport Objectives and Requirements
Many issues are long running and have established measures and objectives. Some have tried and tested solutions that can be assessed and adopted as requirements. Others have been neglected and solutions must be imagined to derive requirements. Ten objectives have been expanded in Section 1.

2. Design for Objectives and Requirements
Building a mind map of the objectives and requirements will yield some prime factors that are common and other requirements that are confined to fewer aspects. The search for a solution that satisfies most of the requirements will leave some shortfalls, but will be major progress. A mind map of the objectives and requirements is presented in Section 2.

3. Comparison of Transport Alternatives
The outcomes of the many existing and proposed transport options were modeled for Melbourne and evaluated against the objectives as shown in the chart. The chart reveals that performance for many transport options is going backwards, despite substantial programs of improvements over the years. Ticks are going forward and crosses are going backwards. The description and evaluation of nine transport options is presented in Section 3.

4. Warrants for Aerial Podcars
Cars are convenient, safe, secure, direct, prompt, reliable, and preferable for a wide variety of trips. Volume 2 of the Australian Infrastructure Audit shows 88% of urban trips are by car. But in the city, if everyone uses a car to commute or attend major events, there is serious congestion and delay, including from crashes and roadworks, loss of amenity, particularly along arterial roads, and conflict with pedestrians and cyclists. Congestion, emissions, costs, and road rage arise. Technology for a new, additional, mode of transport is capable of inducing major mode change, on the proven bases of trip time, reliability and cost, with major improvement in each.

Despite the coarseness of this analysis, the aerial podcar option seems to be the only one with any chance of satisfying the objectives. It justifies rigorous due diligence, particularly of patronage and freight, followed by test tracks for key alternatives and then a pilot route. Further modeling shows that a network at 2km proximity is highly profitable for urban Melbourne and that regulation can direct excess profits towards a finer network with closer stop proximity. A rural network for Victoria requires higher speeds and perhaps another mode such as hyperloop and is not proposed here. The podcar specification is presented in Section 4.