Public Transport and Land Use Integration in Melbourne and Hamburg: Can Comparative Network Performance Provide a Sense of Future Direction?
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In 2001, Victoria's State Government passed a target to more than double the market share of public transport in Melbourne, to a level equivalent to that found in similar-sized Hamburg (Germany) and a number of other European cities (DOI, 2002). Since then (policy-driven or not), Melbourne has experienced strong growth in usage of the system. This paper presents the application of a detailed GIS-based spatial analysis tool to determine how the public transport networks in both cities are configured, how responsive they are to the geographical distribution and concentration of residents and hobs across the urban structure, and how capable to provide accessibility and convenience of travel across the metropolitan area. A review of network performance indicators will explore in quantifiable measures why Hamburg’s public transport, notwithstanding specific setbacks and weaknesses over the past few decades, has traditionally been more significant and successful in the urban transport market than Melbourne’s. The spatial analysis tool will help clarify whether the recent upward trend in Melbourne’s passenger numbers represents a sustained change in the way the city is used, and whether the interplay of land use and transport has departed from previous patterns. Is there a qualitative shift under way that will allow Melbourne to close the gap to Hamburg, or are further transformative steps required to create a more public transport-oriented city where local and metropolitan accessibility between city’s opportunities can keep up with Melbourne’s European counterparts?
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