Benchmarking public transport accessibility in Australasian cities
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There is growing recognition by all tiers of government that transformation of the public transport system is necessary if it is to offer a real alternative to car-based travel in Australasian cities. City planning framed around public transport accessibility raises the question of what quality of public transport system can deliver this objective. This paper explores the use of benchmarks, both to assess the extent to which Australasian cities currently meet the policy objective of public transport accessibility, and as a potential metric for future planning and investment. We draw on the first comparative results from an application of the Spatial Network Analysis for Multimodal Urban Transport Systems (SNAMUTS) tool to eight Australasian cities (Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington). We highlight some of the early challenges that accompany the collection of public transport supply and land use data that is robustly compatible between different cities. This in itself makes any assessment difficult. We present the results from the application of three SNAMUTS indicators and debate how we might use these as a benchmark for public transport accessibility as a means to inform future investment decisions.
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