PPT Conference Reports  - 2003:    "Missed Opportunities - New Possibilities"

These reports are excerpted from the journal
TRANSIT AUSTRALIA - February 2004, Vol. 59, No. 2 , pp 41-43
We wish to thank the publishers for their kind permission to reprint these items.

1. Overview

Adelaide's transport action group People for Public Transport held its annual conference 'Missed Opportunities - New Possibilities' on Saturday 25 October 2003 at Balyana Conference Centre, Clapham, attracting some notable speakers and considerable interest. The next three pages present a brief overview of the event and highlights of the speakers' comments.

The keynote speaker was Dr Paul Mees, a well known public transport advocate from Melbourne, where he teaches transport and land use planning in the urban planning program at the University of Melbourne. He was President of the Public Transport Users Association (Vic) from 1992 to 2001. (See separate panel page 42.)

Dr Alan Perkins, talked about the benefits of making railway stations centres for the community, with commercial and medium density housing clustered around the stations and noted places where this had not happened. He stressed the importance of urban design and security at stations. Dr Perkins' work has focused on the nexus of urban planning, transport, greenhouse impacts and sustainability, through research and policy development. He is Senior Transport Policy Analyst with the SA Department of Transport and Urban Planning. See below.

Mr Roy Arnold, General Manager of TransAdelaide' talked about his vision for the future of Adelaide's suburban rail, including the new trams, to be introduced in 2005. This is summarised on page 42.

Mr Neil Smith, General Manager of Swan Transit (Perth) and a director of Torrens Transit in Adelaide, has been deeply involved in the service reviews that have led to the reversal of long term patronage decline in both cities. He talked about the importance of getting the best value for the dollar, especially where funds were limited, and used the examples of the bus systems of Bogota, Columbia, and Curitiba, Brazil. These third world cities decided to invest in buses, rather than spending their money on metro systems which would only serve a few people. They succeeded spectacularly, not only in getting people on public transport, but in transforming their cities and communities. He questioned the value of 'icon' projects, which benefit only a few commuters. For Mr Smith, the important thing was to define what kind of city you wanted and then to achieve this result by the most effective use of available funds.

Mr Nikolaos Vogiatzis gave a presentation on the benefits to public transport of Information Technology, including information about train arrival times to connecting buses. He is employed in Computer and Information Systems at the University of SA.

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