Congestion is not the enemy

This in the Herald Sun a few weeks ago: Melbourne traffic congestion on par with world's biggest cities like London, Rome and New York (paywall): TRAFFIC congestion in Melbourne is on par with New York and could rival the worldโ€™s worst cities if nothing is done to combat the problem. Figures supplied by Tom Tom show congestion levels in Melbourne are at 33 per cent compared to its population

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

A (rational) conservative view of public transport

I recently read a book I bought a couple of years ago after seeing an interesting article about it: Moving Minds, Conservatives and Public Transit, by American conservatives Paul Weyrich (who passed away in 2008) and William Lind. It's an interesting read, providing a perspective on transport issues which isn't often seen prominently, at least in an Australian context. Today's train read

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Victoria’s first 21st century rail megaproject: benefits from Regional Rail Link

Victoria's first big 21st century rail megaproject is almost complete. Regional Rail Link was started and mostly funded by Labor (State and Federal, in part as stimulus money during the Global Financial Crisis), and largely built under the State Coalition. Construction itself is now complete, with driver training and other preparatory work happening ahead of the expected opening in April June.

Politics and activism, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

The #EWLink billion dollar booby trap

The previously secret East West Link "side letter", offering compensation even if the contract was deemed invalid, seems to underscore just how desperate the State Coalition was to build the road -- despite it being a project that: is highly controversial is more expensive than just about anything previously built in Victoria has a Benefit Cost Ratio of well below 1.0 had no mandate fli


My notes from a quick skim of the #EWLink business case

Late last night, the Herald Sun unexpectedly published the entire East West Link business case, ahead of its official release today. Some notes from me from a quick flick through: p12 makes various high-level claims, particularly faster trips for motorists -- but as we know, this benefit never lasts because traffic increases. p17 flags the toll prices used in the modelling: (2012 pric

Photos, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Photos from last week

The hi fi box was a big hit with my niece (and nephew) Having obtained a government-provided "boarding pass" (they were handed out with some MXs -- I missed out but managed to get one via Kev, who saved it for me), I went searching for the airport rail link. Strangely enough it wasn't listed on the network status board. A while back I bought some shirts from that Charles Tyrwhitt mob who

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Four minutes? Impossible!

I can't help noticing that when traffic is relatively light, this sign on Kings Way always it's 4 minutes to Williamstown Road. This seems as optimistically unlikely as those old Citylink travel time promises. Google Maps reckons it's 7.7 kilometres, and estimates a travel time without traffic of 6 minutes. The speed limit along the freeway and over the Westgate bridge is 80 km/h, which

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Airport rail begins here… well, eventually, maybe

There's some big news on the East West Link today, with Labor saying that if the Supreme Court agrees with the Cities of Moreland and Yarra that the planning approval was invalid, they will rip up the contracts if elected. Read all about it here in The Age. But meanwhile... Lots of ads for the Airport rail link have gone up around Southern Cross Station in the last few days. Yest


Giving with one hand, taking with the other: 2014-15 #Myki fare reform

I've already written previously about the fare changes happening (some announced in December, others announced in March), but it's probably worth considering them all together. Exact 2-hour fares -- from 10/8/2014 From yesterday, 2-hour fares are exactly two hours. Although it was originally flagged in December, this has crept up, quietly announced on Friday by PTV, with only two days

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Regional Rail Link tour part 2 braindump

About a year ago, a group of us from the PTUA went on a tour of the Regional Rail Link, a massive 50 kilometre-long rail project providing new tracks from Southern Cross, via Footscray and Sunshine, then along a new corridor through Melbourne's new outer-western suburbs to West Werribee. The project will provide extra track capacity for V/Line trains on the Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo lines i