Over the past decade, Australia’s growth has been significant - double that of the OECD average. According to Infrastructure Australia, growth in our capital cities alone, between 2011 and 2031, will be approximately 6.4 million persons - the equivalent of a new Melbourne or Brisbane.
This presents significant challenges to Australia’s cities, which are already struggling with increased congestion, jobs growth and mobility.
Lorraine Duffy, Chief Executive at Parking Australia, believes cities must act now to address these challenges and essentially de-clog the arteries to improve the health of our cities.
“It’s no secret, our cities are suffering from serious challenges when it comes to mobility. Long commute times, which are exacerbated by congestion, impact economic productivity and decrease access to job opportunities in our cities. Our current transport systems also have a high reliance and inefficient use of private vehicles, resulting in a carbon intensive mobility system,” explained Lorraine.
“We need to address these issues now and create a smart transport and mobility system that will lay the foundations to progress Australia’s Smart Cities Plan. The parking industry is already separately working towards an integrated mobility approach to improve accessibility and productivity in cities by supporting transport solutions that efficiently connect people with jobs, as well as services and goods with markets.”
“The parking industry is already investing heavily in new technologies to support transportation hubs and electric vehicles, as well as establishing a Future of Parking Committee to drive research and strategy regarding the role of parking as we move towards a smart future,” said Lorraine.
“The Committee has identified Mobility-as-a-Service as a key concept within smart transport and mobility systems, and is helping to educate operators, government and businesses on the role that parking plays as this is often not considered as part of the mobility discussion.”
“Mobility-as-a-Service is where we want to get to in order to enable the fluid movement of people throughout our cities. It will ease congestion, improve accessibility to jobs and productivity, as our journeys become highly efficient,” said Duffy.
Creating a smarter transport mix requires funding
However, to support this future, continued investment in smart transport solutions, innovation and transportation hubs are required. Parking Australia believes parking operators and connected industries shouldn't be doing this in isolation, as this will be interlinked and aggregated across the transport network.
“Over the next 10 years, the cost of development, parking technologies and infrastructures, to support a gradual transition to Mobility-as-a-Service, will need to be put in place. This should either be funded by Government grants, outlined in the National Cities Performance Framework, or through attributing a small proportion of parking space levy revenue annually towards a Future Parking Initiative.”
“This initiative would be designed to work with relevant stakeholders to guide the development of autonomous vehicles and ensure we have the infrastructure in place to support the transport systems of tomorrow,” she concluded.
For more information on Parking Australia’s recent joint submission to the Australian Government National Cities Performance Framework, visit https://www.its-australia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Smart-Transport-and-Mobility-Systems_Joint-sub-to-Aust-Govt-NCPF_PUBLICATION-VERSION.pdf.
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