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Transit for All: Better Stations and Access Infrastructure

This research program addresses one of the most challenging questions facing Australian cities - namely; how to substantially improve public transport facilities, and get ever-larger numbers of travelers onto and away from transit efficiently and comfortably, without over-reliance on costly and outdated park-and-ride approaches. The program will tackle public transport planning questions, along with the design and planning of station facilities and their immediate urban contexts - to help stations become leading civic activity nodes. Quality aesthetic and place-making outcomes will be combined with delivery of highly-effective transport attributes (such as safe and fully-accessible passenger movement paths, easy interchange between services and modes, and effective customer service delivery).

While all major Australian cities have embraced compact city policies premised on transit-oriented development principles for economic, social and environmental sustainability, there remain a number of related 'wicked problems' at a range of scales. Contrary to car-dependent  assumptions, the vast majority of station access and egress actually occurs on-foot. Decisive research into structured access condition assessment methods can potentially improve stakeholder's understanding of access conditions at test-case stations. This assessment capability then lays the foundation for any access enhancement strategy, for further cultivation of localized passenger markets. With effective new assessment tools, potential remedies can be identified, and plans made for substantial improvement to ease-of-access by walking, cycling and feeder transit. These modes of movement are favourable in terms of: cost effectiveness, network enhancement outcomes, urban design impacts, and the ability to better utilize station-area land for transit-oriented development (rather than park-and-ride).

The "transit for all" project focuses on enhancing infrastructure solutions, and project capabilities. It supports better access to public transport, rather than continuing the standard urban research emphasis on diagnoses of problems associated with car-dependence. These are seen as ultimately fruitless, when not coupled to a built-form or industry capability solution. The multi-stakeholder nature of the project brings together the research expertise of University of Melbourne engineering and architecture with the skills and capabilities of a local and state government stakeholders and private practitioners.

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Enhancing infrastructure solutions for Australian cities

Project Title

Transit for All: Better Stations and Access Infrastructure

Major Sponsor

Carlton Connect Initiative (University of Melbourne)

Research Sponsors and Partners

Melbourne School of Engineering (Uni of Melb)
Melbourne School of Design (IUni of Melb)
City of Darebin
City of Moreland
City of Yarra
Grimshaw Architects
MGS Architects
Public Transport Victoria
Department of Transport, Victoria
VicRoads
City of Melbourne
City of Hobsons Bay
Metropolitan Transport Forum
Caldis Cook Group
Cox Architects
Urban Circus

Project Team

Dr Chris Hale (Uni of Melb)
Mr Ian Woodcock (Uni of Melb)
Prof Kim Dovey (Uni of Melb)
Dr John Stone (Uni of Melb)