Melbourne is set to remain a car dominated city with driving set to account for more than seven in 10 trips still to take place in 2030 despite growth in public transport use, the latest research has found.
Unveiling the results of its latest modeling, Infrastructure Victoria said it expects that between now and 2030, the number of trips which will take place across the Melbourne Metropolitan Area each day will increase by 3.5 million.
But it says that whilst public transport use will grow, cars will remain the dominant transport mode.
“The research also shows an expected increase in public transport use, with train, tram and bus trips forecast to grow by 75 per cent,” Infrastructure Victoria chief executive officer Michael Masson said.
“However, Melbourne is likely to remain a car-dominated city with driving still forecast to account for more than 70 per cent of all trips in 2030.”
Whilst the number of trips is set to grow overall, Infrastructure Victoria found that impacts will vary across different areas. Travel distances across outer Melbourne will decrease as greater numbers of employment opportunities will become available outside the CBD.
In addition to its modeling, Infrastructure Victoria also surveyed 1,000 peak hour motorists in order to understand travel patterns and attitudes.
Interestingly, it found that one in four peak hour drivers have the ability to change the time at which they travel whilst one in three are able to alter their mode of transportation if they so choose.
Many people who drive in peak hours, it found, prefer a predictable journey time over a less predictable one even though the more predictable time is usually longer.
This indicates that there could be opportunities to reduce peak congestion through better traffic management.
In 2016, Infrastructure Victoria recommended that the state look at road pricing to encourage those do not need to drive during peak hours to either travel at different times or consider alternative transport means.
This would replace the current system of road funding through registration and fuel excise charges.
The state government, however, has ruled out any consideration of road user pricing.
The modelling and community survey results will be used to inform the next phase of Infrastructure Victoria’s work, which will involve looking at how to get the best possible use of the state’s transport network.
Masson said the need to understand travel patterns should not be underestimated.
“We know the future will bring some changes we haven’t yet considered but the new research provides a glimpse of what our transport network could look like 15 years from now,” he said.
“Understanding the changing travel patterns on Melbourne’s transport network will help us identify and analyse options for making it easier for everyone to get around the city.”