Cost, reliability, convenience, equity or image? The cases for and against the introduction of light rail and bus rapid transit in inners suburban Adelaide, South Australia

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The inner and middle suburbs of Adelaide South Australia have low levels of public transport use and high levels of private motor vehicle use for commuting compared to the inner and middle suburbs of Australia's other major cities. A major reason for this is an absence of a rapid transit system in the region and the subsequent reliance upon bus commuter services in mixed traffic. The state government has proposed reintroducing light rail ’trams’ into inner and middle suburbs as radial routes connected to the central business district. The justification for the reintroduction is largely concerned with enhancing the city's global image and facilitating urban infill. This article uses evidence from a literature review and statistical and physical analyses to ascertain the appropriateness of four common public transport systems, buses in mixed traffic, heavy rail transit, light rail transit and bus rapid transit for a central area of Adelaide South Australia where a new light rail line is proposed. This article argues ‘Curitiba’ styled bus rapid transit is the best option for the area because it is far less expensive than light or heavy rail, it has the potential to provide a rapid transit option for significantly more existing residents in the area, and would be more reliable and convenient for the people in its catchment. In doing so it can also provide a more equitable service.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)271-279
    Number of pages9
    JournalCase Studies on Transport Policy
    Volume9
    Issue number1
    Early online date12 Jan 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2021

    Keywords

    • Adelaide Australia
    • Bus rapid transit
    • Global City Image
    • Light rail transit
    • Public transport

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