Transport Efficiency

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Transport Efficiency

Postby algis » Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:15 pm

I have an interest in energy sustainability and transport efficiency. After a literature review of what's out there, I've put together a paper. The paper provides:
* stats on energy consumption by transport and fuel type
* efficiencies of the full fuel cycle, including overall energy usage and CO2 output
* a comparison of different vehicles and vehicle types to present how some common perceptions are based only on the end use of energy
* brief review of public transport use
* and a very brief review of the cost benefit of various transport related projects

You can find the paper here:

http://energytransportefficiency.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/improvements-to-transport-efficiency-in-australia.pdf

I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Re: Transport Efficiency

Postby Smurf1976 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:06 am

I haven't analysed every word but it looks generally reasonable overall.

The only real point I disagree with is the notion of decentralising employment, services etc within cities. The reason is fairly simple - people change jobs more often than they move houses, and the majority are living with a partner or other family members.

So someone gets a job 20km West of the city and buys a house nearby. 2 years later they have changed jobs, and the new one is 20km south-east of the city. Meanwhile the husband / wife / boyfriend / girlfriend works 15 km north-east of the city. Bottom line - there's nowhere they could live that doesn't involve one or both partners commuting each day. And with the jobs decentralied, it virtually guarantees that commuting will be done in a single occupant car. At least if the jobs were in the city CBD they'd have some chance of getting there on a train or bus, but it's too time consuming for most to even consider that if the destination isn't the CBD.

So I'm not keen on decentralising things simply because people won't, in practice, move to where they have a job. They'll still commute, all that changes is the means (move toward cars) and destination. It would help with traffic flow certainly, since it sends traffic in all directions during the peaks rather than all going into the CBD in the morning and back out in the afternoon, but it also hampers public transport to a significant extent.
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Re: Transport Efficiency

Postby algis » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:50 pm

Thanks Smurf for checking through this.

Agree with you regarding decentralisation of employment within urban sprawl areas. People do change their jobs more often than they move. And a couple living within Sydney may travel to different work areas - say Parramatta and Chatswood, whilst living somewhere in between. Agree that this would, if anything, contribute to urban sprawl.

However, consider the case of furthering the development of employment centres in distinct towns neighbouring existing capital cities. For example, in satellite commuter cities such as Wollongong, Gosford, or Geelong. In such examples, prospective employees may consider moving into such cities seeking employment. This would at least alleviate the burden of overpopulation on infrastructure to existing major centres.
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Re: Transport Efficiency

Postby Smurf1976 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:20 pm

Certainly agreed about decentralising things outside the cities as such.

Looking at it objectively, I really can't see that there's a benefit to further population growth in Melbourne or Sydney. They are already large enough to support a full range of services and facilities - adding another million people to each city isn't really going to bring much in terms of benefits.

But if you add more jobs and people to somewhere like Adelaide or Newcastle then that is arguably a benefit as such. With a population of roughly 1 million, Adelaide does struggle in terms of "critical mass" to support some services and facilities in that city. So encouraging corporate offices, government departments to locate there (or anywhere else not in or near the big cities) would seem to have a number of advantages in broader terms.
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