What will be the ‘new normal’ for transport?

Much of the work of transport professionals involves delivering projects. Setting up the foundation is key to success – whether a planning project or business case or a technical or infrastructure delivery project.

I’ve been thinking about what transport will look like in the ‘new’ normal – whenever and whatever that looks like.
 
Currently, the traffic flows (at the end of April down to 15% from mid-February 2020 levels in Brisbane CBD[1]) and public transport patronage way down (rail less than 10% in Brisbane[1]).

The immediate implications are little congestion, few unexpected delays, higher speeds (potential for more serious crashes), public transport financially not viable, parking and toll road business poor. Good for road freight – probably lessening of rail freight. Plus overseas there have been ‘pop-up’ active transport lanes.
 
In the transition to the ‘new normal, I expect car traffic flows will increase, maybe to levels above February 2020, if people are wary of mass transport, and potentially for some time. Hence the viability of public transport services will continue to be challenged.
 
Looking further ahead there is potential that demand for public transport may not recover for some time, and may need to pivot to smaller on-demand services in low demand areas.

This will stress test the viability of mega projects such as the Sydney Metro and Brisbane Metro and Cross River Rail.

On the other hand, there may well be a demand for new road infrastructure as congestion worsens. A greater focus on managing traffic and incident response will also need to be a priority.

What do you think – post your comments.


Some tools to help you think about future scenarios are provided in the Project Foundations course (gratis)which provides step by step training that should take you less than an hour, and help you to establish a solid basis for any project.

[1] source: https://explore.veitchlister.com.au/covid-19-dashboard/
Photo credit: www.brisbanetimes.com.au

1 thought on “What will be the ‘new normal’ for transport?”

  1. Yes, we might pause and think about what we are doing. Planned transport projects will mean we are still going backwards. And now that we have an enormous debt. It is time to ditch socialism and go for free enterprise. That way we might not accept the dreadful standard of all transport, operate what we have for the benefit of customers, and even specify and acquire a higher standard of transport that we desire. It is essential that it be profitable.
    This is easier than one might think, but we have to think first.
    Kindest regards

    Reply

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