Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sustainable [Green] Transport in Australia

Sustainable transport, or green transport, is any kind of transportation that doesn’t rely on limited natural resources to make it move. Walking and cycling, for example, are forms of sustainable transport.

Currently in Australia, most of the governments’ transportation costs go towards creating and rebuilding roads for cars. As one of the most car-dependent nations in the world, Australia is working towards more sustainable transport options. Local governments are encouraging commuters to use public transport, bike or ride an electric bicycle instead of driving cars.

Each state can create strategies and action plans to implement transportation improvement efforts. The Sydney Cycle Strategy aims to create a bike network to encourage biking and take congestion out of the roads. The goal is to have 300,000 less car trips per day in Sydney, create a healthier population and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Sydney Cycle Action Plan 2007-2017 lists, among other things, building a 200km bike network by 2016 to substantially increase cycling by the time of completion and encouraging electric bicycles for those who aren’t able to use a regular bike.

The City of Melbourne Transport Strategy 2012 aims to revamp the public transport system, make the roads more effective, create pedestrian-friendly streets and encourage a transition to become a cycling city. The city will directly coordinate action plans to expand and improve the public transit and walking network and create a cycling network. The city has other action plans involving the metro rail, tram routes and high-speed rail links that will need to be outsourced to other organisations.

The Transport Plan for Brisbane 2008-2026 outlines projects including spending A$100 million for pedestrian and biking pathways, a Rapid Transit System for busses and a CityCycle bike hire system (already in place). Brisbane Council’s Greenway initiative aims to create safe pathways for walking and biking.

The Hobart City Council Draft Principal Bicycle Network created a proposal for a network for cyclists as legitimate road users and commuters. The goal is to create a city with options for sustainable transport, including bikes.

The TravelSmart Australia program urges people to wean themselves from cars as a primary source of transportation and encourages the use of public transport, walking and cycling, even if it’s just for one day a week.

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