When public transportation use changed during the pandemic, we helped Melbourne respond with new strategies to enhance the system
When Covid19 hit Melbourne, an unexpected side-effect was an increase in traffic congestion when many people stopped using public transportation and opted for their own car. In response, the Department of Transport (DoT) sought our assistance on a program of improvements to the on-road bus and tram system to encourage usage. We provided DoT with a business case and toolkit to help them understand possible infrastructure needs, their costs, and our recommendation on which initiatives should be prioritised.
Working with DoT stakeholders and transportation operators, we identified locations across the transportation network where public transport enhancements could be made. These would contribute to an overall improvement in network performance and user benefits, helping encourage a return to public transport, and mitigating the risk of a disproportionate increase in single-passenger vehicle use.
Though the effects of the pandemic on transport were unexpected, we were able to align all suggestions with existing strategic directions for the tram, bus, and road networks, including the Transport Integration Act, Plan Melbourne, the Victoria Bus Plan, Tram Plan, and the Climate Change Act.
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