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TRANSIT IN SUBURBIA : AN ANALYSIS OF PERTH, AUSTRALIA'S MASS TRANSIT SYSTEM AND HOW AMERICAN SUBURBS CAN OVERCOME AUTOMOBILE DEPENDENCY BY STACI A. HABER A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under sponsorship of Dr. David K. Brain Sarasota, Florida May, 2011
!"#$%&'( # )) # Acknowledgem ents. ..ii i List of Figur esi v Abstract .. v Introduction1 Chapter Two: The Density and Tra nsportation Debate..... 14 Chapter Three: The Case for Perth, Australia.26 Bus and Rail Integration .. 36 Regional Planning... ......... 44 Strategically Located Stations 47 Education Programs... ......... 48 Conclusion .. 53 Chapter Four: The Case for O rlando, Florida.55 Bus and Rail Integration .. 62 Regional Plann ing... ........ 67 Strategically Located Stations 69 Education Programs... ........ 69 Conclusion 70 Chapter Five: Urban Form Surrounding Stations. .71 Transit Oriented Deve lopment.. 72 Redevelopment TODs 74 Greenfield TODs 79 Park n' Rides 84 Major Arterial Intersections 88 Feeder Buses as a Key Element .. 89 Inappropriate "Park n' Ride". 90 New Urbanism .. 92 Co nclusion 97 Chapter Six : Making the Commitment to Public Transportation...100 Bibliograph y..104
!"#$%&'( # ))) # Acknowledgements The re are so many wonderful people, all around the world, that have made this thesis possible. Any words expressed here could never compare to the generosity everyone has given me Firstly, I'd like to thank the best parents in the world for their unbelievable support throughout this entire process and always mot ivating me to shoot for the stars. A huge thank you to my brother, Brandon, for editing my entire thesis and playing the "devil's advocate" so I could strengthen my arguments. Thank you to my advisor, Dr. David Brain, for mentoring me these past four years and really pushing me to think critically about my research. And thank you to Dr. Joseph Mink and Dr. Uzi Baram for trusting in my work by being on my baccalaureate committee. It would not have been possible to learn all I did about Perth if it wasn't for the incredible people on the other side of the world that took the time to meet with me. Thank you to Peter Newman, for providing me a true history of Perth from a man who live d and breathed it. Thank you to Peter Martinovich, who really made me understand decisions from a governmental perspective And thank you to the firm RobertsDay, especially Mike Day and Jake Schapper, for all the knowl edge they passed on with regards to Pe rth's urban form around transit. For my Orlando research, none of my insight knowledge would have been possible without Harry Barley, for taking the time o ut of his incredibly busy schedule to meet with me and answer any and all my questions. I would also like to thank Phil Laurien, Andrew Landis, and George Kinney, from ECFRPC, for meeting with me and discussing the progress of regional planning in Central Florida. Huge thanks to Tiffany Homler and Dave Tomek for letting me experience the local planning p rocess in Osceola County. And big thanks to Eliza Harris for getting me involved with CNU Orlando and introducing me to all the brilliant people that are working so hard to make this city great. Lastly, my thesis would certainly never have come to fruiti on if it weren't for the support of the New College community Thank you to my urban studies "buddies," Adam and Richa rd, for accepting my eccentric enthusiasm and actually going along with it. And thank you to my amazing friends, Monica, Marilyn, Amber, Allie, Heather Alex, and Bryant for both motivating me throughout the year and providing great distractions when I needed it most. Thank you!!
!"#$%&'( # )* # List of Figures Figure 2.1. 17 Figure 2.2. 22 Figure 2.3. 22 Figure 3.1..28 Figure 3.2..32 Figure 3.3..32 Figure 3.4 ..33 Figure 3.5..33 Figure 3.6..34 Figure 3.7..39 Figure 3.8..40 Figure 4.1..55 Figure 4.2 ..57 Figure 4.3..58 Figure 5.1..76 Figure 5.2..78 Figure 5.3..79 Figure 5.4..81 Figure 5.5 ..83 Figure 5.6 .. 89 Figure 5.7..90 Figure 5.8..92 Figure 5.9..95 Figure 5.10 98
!"#$%&'( # # Transit In Suburbia : An Analysis of Perth's Australia's Mass Transit System And How American Suburbs Can Overcome Automobile Dependency Staci Haber New College of Florida, 2011 Abstract Providing public transportation in the suburbs has been a prolonged struggle for government officials and planners in the United States. There is a long hel d belief that high density is a key factor in the success of a mass transit system, which would mean alternative transportation options, be si des the automobile, are limited in suburban areas Scholars have concluded there needs to be between 30 to 40 residents per hectare in order to have a viable transit service. Others have suggested a figure closer to Hong Kong's density (400 people per he ctare) would be the only way public transportation makes sense. Despite these assumptions, suburbs across the world are proving transport policies can greatly alter the feasibly of a transit system. In particular, Perth, Australia (12 persons per hectare) has succeeded in producing a public transportation system, one that combines a bus and rail network, and offers a competitive system alongside the private motorcar. It is only after the system matures that urban form, such as transit oriented development a nd "park n' rides," will intensify the land around the station and offer solutions to increase patronage without changing the suburban landscape completely. This thesis compares Perth's rail and bus system, as well as urban form, to a local public transi t project in Orlando, Florida, and demonstrates how transportation in a low density environment is possible. An analysis of Perth's system shows four key transportation policies and initiatives that play a vital role in their success: bus and rail integrat ion, regional planning, strategically located stations, and education programs.
!"#$%&'( # *) # Perth's system exemplifies the key to reviving suburbs and encouraging commuters and tourists to utilize multiple forms of transportation. These options allow for a more sustai nable, produc tive growth and greater flexibility in areas that are not normally considered appropriate candidates for public transportation. Dr. David K. Brain Division of Social Sciences
!"#$%&'( # + # Chapter I I ntroduction Public t ransportation is an issue most local and federal governments wr estle with every single day. High density American cities worry about the profit margins, carrying capacity, and the aesthetics of a public trans it system. On the other hand less densely populated cities, usually surrounded by suburbs, examine how they can even have a public transportation system at all with incentives and mentality ever present in favor of the automobile. The traditional understanding of mass transit rail is its application to serve high density settlement" (Martinovich 2008a, p.9) and, therefore, we tend to view public transportation as impressive in cities with highly compact development, such as New York City or San Francisco but acknowledge that it wo uld never work on a smaller scale. This opinion is formed on the basis of misconception s in regards to economics, urb a n form, and development that is commonly fueled through incentives favoring the automobile The truth is that adequate public transportati on can be viable in low density suburbs, as seen in case studies around the world In recent years, many researchers and analysts have examined the effects that automobile dependency has on our nation' s built environment. W e are seeing the negative impacts of sprawling suburbs and the detrimental effect it has on our economic, ecological, and psychological well being Typical policy changes that have been in effect for years to combat some of these issues include expanding existing roadways, adding new ones, or moving development to the outskirts of town to reduce further congestion. These policy changes, however, have significant associated costs and do little in fixing the ecological and psychological damage that has plagued Ameri can suburbs.
!"#$%&'( # # In brief, expanding highways and creating a lasting dependen ce on the private motorcar has damaging effects on the natural and built environment. Natural landscapes are diminishing to pave the way for new, single family developments at the edg e of a city. And apart from the destruction of native habitat air pollution, noise pollution, and other environmental problems arise as the result of low density settlement Traffic congestion an externality of the automobile can persist on arterial ro ads even a fter the roadways are expanded. Not only does this create road rage and fatigu e but also an increasing amount of time is wasted sitting in traffic when an employee or parent could be productive elsewhere. Certain government initiatives, such as Florida's traffic concurrency law attempt to reduce congestion and discourage new development where there is already an overflow of growth. This law has unintended consequences, however, and dissuades compact and transit oriented development I nstead it encourages development to move to the outskirts of a town or city which produces more sprawl and leads to even further congestion. This vicious cycle has no end while automobile dependence is so entrenched. If the automobile is rapidly producing these negative effects, how can we reduce the impact? Public transit has been at the forefront of this debate. Typically the public has viewed public transit for the poor and disadvantaged, but recent events, such as high gas prices and the effects of climate change, have persuaded more and more people to ride transit, or at least desire the ability to ride transit. And the benefits are astonishing; the average household in a transit rich area spends an average of 9% of their income on transportation costs, whereas automobile dependent households can spend upwards to 25%. This amount saved by using transit (and possibly owning less cars) could be spent
!"#$%&'( # # elsewhere, such as boosting the local economy ( "Where You Live Impa cts Affordability 2007). Time is also saved since passengers now have the ability to get work done on their commute with so me system s providing free Wi Fi. Another added benefit is the United States' decrease in foreign oil supply. Our dependence will vastly reduce when commuters start driving less and take an electrically powered train to work. And whether or not preserving the natural environment is an important priority for you, walking, cycling, or taking public transit significantly reduces your carbon footprint. Mobility has become an increasingly important issue for both young and old residents. The societies affected by automobile dependency (those developed post World War II) are also the same societies with aging population s due to the increase in births after the war Baby boomers will soon reach the age w h ere cars might not be a viable option for them, and if they're still living in suburb ia, most become highly dependent on others in order to get around. Students, whether above or below the driving age, would also benefit tremendously from an adequate transportation network, especially if they cannot, or can barely, afford a car of their ow n. The poor and disadvantaged groups, who already rely on a poorly funded bus system, if at all, could extend their boundaries for job hunting if granted a better system to ride on. These vulnerable populations deserve an alternative to the automobile depe ndent lifestyle. And when implemented correctly, commuters using the system on a daily basis would significantly reduce the number of cars on the road. The reliving of congesti on would do wonders for a city's pro sperity and economic growth. M oving transpor tation funds from its primary beneficiary, roads, to more public transport investment (currently $0.80 to every federal transportation dollar is
!"#$%&'( # # spent on roadways) could make a valuable impact on every citizen, wh ether or not they chose to ride the system With all these exciting benefits for public transit riders why is it that most Americ an cities have chosen not to develop a truly multi modal transit network? If New York City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. managed to pull it off, why can't everyo ne? This is where the debate on density comes into play. There is a long held belief, dating back half a century when automobiles and public transit ran side by side, that low density cities were better off without commuter rail, heavy rail, and streetcars They should, instead, be replaced with buses and roadway expansions. This notion made sense at the time based on the facts presented (CATS, 1959, vol.1) With government incentives and subsides going towards the automobile, it is no wonder we ended up wi th the landscape we see today. Whether the facts were true at the time or not, this phenomenon became a self fulfilling prophecy. As more and more cities believed in the difficultly of implementing public transportation because of the post World War II sub urban boom, the more incentives were given to the automobile, which enc ouraged further low density development. This made the process even harder for planners to promote public transportation. This cycle continues to today, and many cities across America, as well as low dense Australia, are witnessing the drawbacks to our landscape's addiction to the automobile. The findings on the density debate, nonetheless, are convincing. Scholars Peter Newman and Jeffrey Kenworthy, based on their study from 1989 (and l ater, 1999), arrived at a "minimum density of 30 persons per hectare below which public transport cannot be provided" (Mees, 2010, p.30). Their conclusion is based on the assumption that
!"#$%&'( # / # public transport does receive some kind of subsidy from the governmen t, and any density below that critical threshold results in a significantly higher cost per rider. Other researchers (Calthor pe, 1993; Holtzclaw et al, 2002; Naess, 1993) have suggested figures similar to Newman and Kenworthy, confirming the importance of density that has been ingrained in the minds of planners, designers, and governmen t officials As a result, many have come to believe that public transportation has no place in low density or suburban environments. Recent studies have begun to contradict t his view. According to Dr. John Stone of the University of Melbourne and Dr. Paul Mees of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, "many city dwellers have been presented with a false choice: live in apartments and enjoy good public transport or retain the house and land and rely on cars" (West, 2011). In the minds of many Americans, and the global population, one cannot have both the luxury of a detached dwelling and independence from the automobile. But their evidence takes a different approach and observ es densities across Australia, the United States, Canada, and suburbs in Europe. By using cities that have similar densities, one can see that there is no strong correlation between higher densities and adequate transportation. For example, Los Angeles pat ronage on their bus and light rail is relatively low despite being the "most densely populated city in the U.S" (West, 2011). They argue that "it is not necessary to intensify land use across the whole city before significant improvement in both patronage and economic efficiency of public transport becomes possible" (West, 2011). In their minds, by simply creating a competitive system that involves convenient transfers, coordination between bus and rail services, and a plentiful supply of bus services that would run at least every 10 15 minutes, would
!"#$%&'( # 0 # improve the transit system significantly, even in a lo w dense environment. This study was published in 2010 in response to oil vulnerability in Australia a nd while the reasoning behind the study remains contro versial, the facts are clear and presented in a credible fashion (Stone & Mees, 2010) These new studies conclude that specific factors, such as appro priate transport policies, render a larger role in the initial success of public transport in the suburbs than the implementation of high densities throughout the region. The United States and Australia, two countries with very similar land use patterns since developing post World War II, offer dissimilar policies and regulations that, in turn, result in a v ery different attitude towards public transportation. Every major city in Australia has a viable public transport network, with most internationally recognized as models for suburban regions. On the other hand, the United States continues to offer subsidie s in favor of the automobile, with cities only recently beginning to take another look at supporting new public transportation infrastructure. These two regions visibly contain the same land use patterns, but offer two very diverse transport policy initiat ives, resulting in two extremely different transportation landscapes. The controversial c onundrum, then, remains: can the suburban United States produce the same effect as Australia and reverse the sprawl that has plagued our landscapes ? Can the United St ates begin focusing on transport policies and enacting new public transportation plans instead of consistently funding more highway expansions? There is no clear way of knowing the answers to these questions until it has been accomplished, but specific emp irical case studies can shed light into the feasibility of this newfound built environment. Peter Calthorpe, a leading u rban designer and cofounder of
!"#$%&'( # 1 # the Congress For New Urbanism, acknowledges that "we tend to think the world starts and ends with what we do here in the United States, but in terms of the environment, that's really not the case" ("Calthorpe Explains Urbanism," 2011). In particular, Perth, Australia, the most isolated city in the world, is a "classic American city" (Newman, personal communic ation, August 11, 2010) with its low population density, significant freeway network, and high average incomes (Mees, 2010a, p.126). Even today, Perth has one of the highest per capita world car ownerships as well as an "entrenched culture of car usage for most trips" (Martinovich, 2008b). This is usually inevitable in low density environments, where freedom and convenience is ingrained in the minds of suburba nites. Perth, nevertheless, provides a successful alternative that has shown local residents the be nefits of transit over the private automobile. The region is a great case study for transportation implementation in the United States because it offers a very conventional solution to the public transport dilemma in the suburbs. The reason Perth received virtually no international a ttention, unlike other low density Australian cities, was "possibly because it involved boring old technologies like electric trains and non guided buses" (Mees, 2010a, p.126). Their system is, in short, simple. Their success, instead, was ma inly due to the changing of attitudes from automobile only policies to true "competition" between the private motorcar and alternative modes of transportation. This allowed their system, which has grown exponentially in the past couple of de cades, to be a viable alternative for commuters and tourists alike. Their successful mass transit system, among other positive attributes in the region, has la nded Perth the eighth most "liv able city" in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence U nit. Tied with Adelaide, Australia, Perth was given an index of
!"#$%&'( # 2 # 95.9 out of 100 for the year 2011, which is based off of five main categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure (Allan, 2011). And while there are numerous factors that contributed to Perth's high index, there is no doubt their high ranking was rigorously improved due to their thriving transportation infrastructure. Perth presents a vast array of p olicies and programs that could be imitated across America's landscape. Each policy and program, moreover, works towards adding convenience for the rider. According to Peter Martinovich, Director of Planning at Transperth, Perth's regional transportation network, "In order to provide a competitive service, in an age when you are trying to win people away from the convenience of the private motorcar, the journey on rail and the transfer to rail, has to be as convenient as possible" (personal communication, August 19, 2010 ). Four distinct factors stand out as the key to convenience and efficiency unique to the suburbs: bus and rail integration, regional planning, strategically located stations, and education programs. Proper bus and rail integration allows riders whether they are local residents or tourists, to move effortlessly through the system R egional planning on the other hand, is the coordination of policies and regulations between local, r egional, and state agencies, and is the means to make adequate integration possible Placement of stations, in Perth's case along the freeway, also allow a commuter to terminate their automobile trip in favor of a fast moving train heading in the same direction. The Public Transport Authority in Perth has also suggested stations be at le ast three kilometers (1.9 miles) apart to allow for a sufficient speed that will compete with the automobile. For example, the southern rail line's average station distance is eight kilometers (5 miles) apart which allows for a top
!"#$%&'( # 3 # speed of 130 kph (80 mph ). And when passengers are appropriately educated on the infrastructure and benefits of their transit system, they show a dramatic change of habit from the reliance on the automobile to balanced use of alternative modes. Referring back to bus and rail inte gration, t ypically transport planners and government officials frown upon bus and rail transfers based on the argument that "no one likes to transfer." The World Bank barely acknowledges the integration of bus and rail in public transportation, and in thei r urban transport strategy they completely separate buses and rapid transit into different chapters. Critics argue that transfer based systems simply don't work because "travellers [sic] dislike transferring." The objection to integration, then, "becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, as market based systems make transfers inconvenient or even impossible, with extra fares, poor facilities and non connecting timetables" (Mees, 2010, p. 8). Agencies view this trend as proof that transfer based systems are highly inefficient and should be avoided in future transport planning. And while they make a valid argument in some cases, the transfers they discuss include passengers waiting an hour for the next bus, or just missing the first one because the rail and bus line s are not in sync. Planners, instead, should do "everything possible to make transfers convenient, providing integrated fares, convenient facilities and coordinated timetables" (Mees, 2010, p. 150). In Perth, timetables are in sync, feeder buses are used t o complement the rail, not compete with it, and fare systems are based on zones, which does not discourage transfers like most basic systems. Transportation planners sometimes feel that if the infrastructure is there and the density is high enough, people can't say no to transit. Nonetheless, Perth found that in a low dense environment,
!"#$%&'( # +4 # competitiveness, which in turn is convenience and efficiency, is the key for a truly successful network of transportation modes. This thesis focuses on providing those pol icies that will create that mobility competition. The four key transport policy factors bus and rail integration, regional planning, strategically located stations, and education programs, are major themes throughout the chapters, with the final chapter p resenting a glimpse into the urban form that will arise as the result of the public transportation system. This is a classic chicken and egg story; first there is the construction of mass transit through proper transport policies, then the urban form will morph around stations, further increasing the ridership. Chapter II provides a literature review of the debate on densit y and public transport usage This debate remains a popular topic among transportation planners, and has resulted in policies that has b oth encouraged the use of the automobile as well as dissuaded the implementation of updated public transportation infrastructure. This chapter presents the reasoning behind the argument but also suggests that the real causation, transportation policies, is the true culprit in the correlation between public transportation usage and density. New studies are instead presenting the idea that the urban density will then rise as a result of the public transportation s ystem, but does not need to perform an imperat ive role prior to the installment. Chapter III specifically looks at the public transportation in Perth, Australia. A brief overview is given, followed by sub sections on the four key factors in transportation policy that led to the system's success: bus a nd rail integration, regional planning, strategically located stations, and education programs. This chapter sheds light on key
!"#$%&'( # ++ # points that make Perth's system unique, while also displaying the ways it can easily be mimicked elsewhere. Chapter IV offers a particular case study in the United States: Orlando, Florida. Orlando is in the process of implementing a commuter rail service, as well as expanding their bus system, to provide an alternative to their congested roadways. I, once again, provide a brief o verview of the system's plans, then analyze how the four key factors can help the system in Orlando to prosper. Orlando has the drive and commitment to create a thriving system in the near future, and a few suggestions taken from Perth, are offered that c ould make the system even better. Chapter V presents various solutions to the urban form that will take place once the public transportation system is up and running. This chapter is vital for my argument because it solves the solution of urban form that follows the implementation of the infrastructure. Transit Oriented Development, or TOD, Park n' Rides, and New Urbanist principles, have all influenced Perth's urban form around the railway station, with each element catering to a specific site. Not all gr eenfields (undeveloped land) should become TODs, nor should all outlying suburbs have only park n' rides. These valuable case studies in Perth, for both their strengths and weaknesses, are essentially beneficial for Orlando's future design plans at their c ommuter rail stations. Why do I think Perth, Australia presents an exceptional case study for Orlando and subsequent cities that will install commuter rail in the suburbs? Firstly, I conducted extensive fieldwork while studying abroad at Curtin University of Technology, in Perth, for the Spring 2009 semester (then returned in August 2010). While studying abroad, I saw a close similarity in land use patterns, density, population size, and attitudes in both
!"#$%&'( # +, # Perth and Orlando, the city I have lived in my enti re life. The only difference was one was still plagued with automobile dependency (Orlando) while the other managed to present a choice of multiple transportation options in a competitive, satisfying setting (Perth). Following considerable research on comp arable statistics between these two cities, such as Perth and Orlando's population size, 1,659,000 and 1, 644,561 respectively, the comparisons became vividly apparent to me (Australia 2010 Census; 2000 United States Census). Orlando also has an average de nsity of 9.9 people per hectare, while Perth has an average density of 12.1 people per hectare. Despite these similar figures, the United States Census reported only 1.6% of Orlando residents use public transportation when commuting to work, while 95.4% us e the automobile. In contrast, 10.4% of Perth residents use public transportation as their primary form of commuting while 88.3% commute via private motorcar (Mees, 2010, p.60). The difference between 1.6 and 10.4 is astronomical, with Perth's figure predi cted to be even higher following the opening of their highly successful southern rail line, which opened in 2007, and nearly doubled their passenger ridership. These data alone can be the start of an argument that transportation in the suburbs is possible, when done right and executed in a manner that allows the automobile and mass transit a fair chance. Is Perth the answer to the public transportation in the suburbs conundrum? Their system isn't perfect, but policies can be mimicked and lessons can surely be learned. This thesis argues that competitive public transportation in the suburbs is achievable, through various policy and attitude changes, despite the common myth that density is the main component in the success of mass transit. If governments and plann ers make the change,
!"#$%&'( # +# residents and tourists will surely follow in the switchover from compl ete automobile dependency to a desire to choose. #
!"#$%&'( # +. # Chapter II The Density and Transportation Debate Transp ortation planners and engineers the world over consistently debate the density threshold for public transportation in cities. It is a commonly held belief that once a city reaches a certain density, one that may be similar to New York City Hong Kong, or London, public transport cannot fail. This idea makes logical sense from a certain perspective Without residents to support ridership and operational costs, public transport becomes a burden on t he taxpayers and inf rastructure goes un used. Various scholars (Newman & Kenworthy, 1989; Zupan in Owen, 2004) propose a density threshold, typically between 30 and 40 persons per h e c t a r e below which public transportation is not viable due to a drastic increase in subsidies and low ridership count These scholars, while present ing influential research into the f e a s i b i l i t y of public transportation in suburbs, fail to take into account other factors that may cause the relationship between density and public transport usage. As it turns out after further research over the past few decades, scholars (Sorensen, 2001; Williams et al., 2000) have found that the impact of urban form with regards to travel behavior is rather inconclusive and argues, "there is no consensus as to the ideal urban form" (Curtis & Olaru, 2007, p.6). For example, Paul Mees, professor at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia insist s that Australian cities share similar residential densities to Canadian cities, and are ############################## ######################### # # O ne hectare is roughly equivalent to 2.47 acres. As a reference, Los Angeles has a density of 27.3 people per hectare (pph), New York is 20.5 pph, and Chicago is 15.1 pph (2000 U S Census). # 55 # Feasibility, or cost effectiveness, is a term that is loosely defined when it comes to the debate on density. In this argument, feasibility is not what will make a profit, nor is it a balanced budget, but is instead defined as a low er cost per rider. It is believed that once density arrives at a particular figure, there is a spike in automobile usage, resulting in the idea that when given the choice, commuters will chose their private motorcar over a public transport system and thus th e cost per rider drastically increases. #
!"#$%&'( # +/ # often l ess dense than their American counter parts (Mees, 2009, p.3). There is no correlation however between these regions and their transportation systems, which allows transport policy such as feeder buses, regional planning, and education, to play a vital role in the correlation All in all, the United States seems to be the region struggling most with density and transportation issues The argument can be made, then, that maybe these two noteworthy factors are correlated, but the determining factor may be the implementation of transport policies that allow public transport to thrive even in low density. The debate over public transportation and density has taken place for more than half a centur y The idea was first popularized following the introduction of the Chicago Area Transportation Study (CATS) in 1956. CATS sought to bring traffic engineering into the profession of town planning which profoundly shaped the field throughout the 1950s and 1960s (Fischer, 1984, p. 68). Their goal was to survey and perform an analysis between land use and transport in the greater Chicago region. In volume one of their study, published in December of 1959, CATS found a pattern between passengers on particular routes and the density in the area. Then they calculated that the "minimum density appears to be about 25,000 persons per net residential square mile [96.5 per h e c t a r e ]. The areas where heavy bus usage shows up have these high densities. Where densities fall below this point, buses apparen tly cannot operate economically in local service" (CATS, 1959, vol. 1, p. 43 45). Following these statistics, they looked at future land use patterns and concluded low density will be the norm in the Chicago area by ############################## ######################### # # There are zero cities in the United States that have anywhere near this kind of average urban density. I believe the point CATS was attempting to make was that public transport is not viable in every section of eve ry city, and, instead, should only operate in neighborhoods with densities of this magnitude. #
!"#$%&'( # +0 # 1980. Given these trends and in order to compete in this market, the study suggested, "92 per cent of investment should go to highways and the remaining 8 percent to public transport ( half of this was for car parking at stations)" (Mees, 2010a, p.30). These results deeply influenced policy change s in the greater Chicago area and cities worldwide began to take a closer look at operation costs for public transportation that catered to low density residential areas. After CATS was published, British economist, Colin Clark, recognized a few flaws i n the study and adjusted the density figure accordingly. He chose to halve the figure to take into account non residential uses, and concluded, "a population density of 12,500 per gross sq. mile (48 persons/hectare) in a predominately residential area is l ikely to be the limit below which bus services will be unremunerative without a subsidy'" (Mees, 2010, p.30). This figure was drastically different than CATS estimate, but still predicted public transportation had no place in a low density environment. W hile CATS and Clark 's studies significantly changed the way transportation planners viewed land use and transit, Australian planners Peter Newman and Jeff Kenworthy analyzed cities all over the world to evaluate their density threshold. After their study, they found a strong correlation between the two variables and noticed there was a threshold of "'about 20 to 30 persons per hectare' below which automobile use appears to increase exponentially" (Newman & Kenworthy, 1999, p. 100; Mees, 2 010b, p.5). The graph below demonstrates a strong correlation between a city's urban density and transport energy use, reinforcing this threshold. Newman and Kenworthy subsequently concluded most transport agencies received some sort of subsidy so they use d Clark's data and "arrived at a minimum density of 30 persons per hectare below
!"#$%&'( # +1 # which public transport cannot be provided" without substantial subsidies (Mees, 2010, p.30). This density threshold sounded reasonable, and transport planners the world over b egan using their data as a measurement for public transport feasibility in their own region s Figure 2.1 : Urban Density and Energy Use, 1990 Source: Newman and Kenworthy, 1999, p.101 Entire countries also began to accept a particular density as a rule of thumb for promoting a multi modal t ransit network in low dense suburbs The United Kingdom government agrees with a high density figure, believing that "100 residents per hectare is required to allow bus services to be provided, with even higher figures c ited as necessary for rail services" (Mees, 2010b, p.2). The United Kingdom government considers any densities below these figures would result in a less cost effective transit service. The reality is that t he Local Government Management Board are the ones who estimate these
!"#$%&'( # +2 # figures but also acknowledge the average housing density for new developments in the United Kingdom is around 22 unites to the hectare, or roughly 50 people (Rudlin & Falk, 1999, p.158). This presents a dilemma in the planning process f or the United Kingdom, as the free market guides new developments yet discourages any other mode of transport besides the private automobile. There are many other scholars who agree that there needs to be a particular density in order for public transit ( whether that is bus or rail) to remain cost effective when competing against the alternative, roadway expansion. Peter Calthor pe (1993), in his book, The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community and the American Dream discusses the importance of densi ty when creating a viable center that includes transit. Holtzclaw et al. (2002) also resulted in similar findings of increased car use and low density following data collection in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago areas (Newman & Kenworthy, 2006, p.38 39). Jeffrey Zupan, an economist with New York's Regional Planning Association, evaluates the relationship between density and bus usage. He presented the notion of a "critical threshold density" when determining the support, or cost effectiveness, o f public transit. The basic point is that you need density to support public transit. In all cities, not just in New York, once you get above a certain density two things happen. First, you get less travel by mechanical means which is another way of saying you get more people walking and biking; and second, you get a decrease in trips by auto and an increase in trips by transit. That threshold tends to be around seven dwellings per ac re [35 to 40 persons per hectare]. Once you cross that line, a bus company can put buses out there, because they know they're going to have enough passengers to support a reasonable frequency of service (Owen, 2004). Zupan b elieves cities must be more compact, like New York City, if they have any hope for a viable alternative to the automobile. His estimates hover around similar
!"#$%&'( # +3 # findings by Newman and Kenworthy, reinforcing the density threshold truism. Most recently, Alan M oran (2006), in his booklet, The Tragedy of Planning is convinced public transportation is doomed economically unless cities attain densities similar to Ho ng Kong's built e n v i r o n m e n t Moran argues "a rule of thumb is that rail based systems require 40,000 people per square kilometre [sic] to be viableExpress bus systems need 26,000 per square kilometre" (Moran, 2006, p.15). These figures equate to 400 and 260 persons per hectare, res pectively but Moran's study lacks a source and no methodology is presented to authenticate these findings (Mees, 2009, p.4). This significant body of literature, based on research conducted all over the world, surely sounds convincing to a transport plan ner deciding between public transportation and roadway expansion in a suburban neighborhood. Paul Mees differ s with these scholars to a certain extent and formulates his own hypothesis regarding the density/ public transport relationship He concludes that "urban structure is important, but it is not an insuperable barrier to change" (Mees, 2009, p.11). Through his research, Mees discovered Clark's observation was false when he said half of develop ed land was residential and instead CATS calculated the num ber was closer to a third, making Clark's density threshold 32 per hectare, not 48 (Mees, 2010b, p.4). He found other misleading calculations regarding these statistics, including the source of the 100 persons per hectare in the British report. The report was simply cited from the first edition of Peter White's book, Public Transport which never claimed 100 per hectare was the minimum density. Instead, White was referring to a potential dial a bus' service that un named Americ an consultants were consideri ng and believed the service required between ############################## ######################### # 5 # Kowloon, Hong Kong has an average urban density of roughly 445 people per hectare ( Hong Kong Government 2009). # #
!"#$%&'( # ,4 # "twenty to forty persons per acre" or 50 to 100 per hectare (Mees, 2010b, p. 2 3). These facts and findings, it seems, either used out of date data, "emerged from thin air," or substituted unreliable sources to back up their verification. In spite of this research, transport planners have a long history of adapting their work based on the density myth N owadays, a major obstacle is convincing transport policy makers of the true relationship between density and public transport usage. For example, in the late 1950s, Auckland, New Zealand used data from Ernest Fooks 1946 book X Ray the City! when deciding on governmental policies relating to transit. Fooks compiled a list of world cities and their densities. The Technical Committee of the Auckland Regional Planning Authority ignored particular outliers like Vienna and Zurich and concluded Auckland had "the world's lowest urban den sity." Because of this finding, they recommended the city's rail system upgrades should be cancelled and funds would instead go towards roadway building. This prediction proved "self fulfilling, as Auckland's extensive motorway system and marginal public t ransport have made it one of the most auto dependent cities in the world, a problem the city's road planners still attribute to a supposedly world beating low density" (Mees, 2009, p.6). Auckland still suffers from automobile dependency because they did no t trust their public transportation infrastructure, which resulted in a landscape much like American cities are today. Mees offers a convincing argument, using his own research, as to the real factors in this debate that may give hope to transport planner s wishing to install new public transport infrastructure in the suburbs. When conducting his own study, Mees decided to use similar methodology to Newman and Kenworthy's landmark research, but instead chose to include the entire urban area, not just "that portion lying with the boundaries of a
!"#$%&'( # ,+ # central municipality" that is usually measured (Mees, 2010b, p.8). He found that n ot every city fits a positive correlation between density and public transport usage When calculating the central urban area of a regi on, Mees found Los Angeles to be the densest American city and is three times denser than Brisbane, Australia. The difference between their public transport systems, though, is extraordinary. The percentage of Brisbane residents that commute to work via pu blic transit is three times higher than in Los Angeles. And New York's density is roughly a third less than San Francisco, but public transport usage is twice as much. Portland, Oregon, believed to be a model for streetcars in the city, has a low density b ut much higher public transport mode share than Los Angeles. P ortland's public transport network probably the most well known success story in the United States, is still less than any major Aust ralian city (Mees, 2009, p.9). When analyzing his findings, Mees (2010b) discovered there is no universally valid threshold, or tipping point, when measuring densities and public transport usage around the world. He found little correlation between these two factor s as well as the relationship between density and privat e automobile usage (See Figure 2.2 ). He also found there is virtually zero correlation between other sustainable transport modes, such as cycling and walking, and density (See Figure 2 .3 ).
!"#$%&'( # ,, # Figure 2.2 : Private Car Usage Versus Urban Density (Mees, 2010b, p.15) Figure 2 .3 : Walking and Cycling Versus Urban Density (Mees, 2010b, p.14)
!"#$%&'( # ,# Following these findings, Mees concludes The regression analysis confirms that density is not responsible for the differing transport perf ormance among the three countries' cities. Instead, it confirms that US cities apart from New York perform poorly from a sustainability perspective, Australian cities are somewhat better and Canadian cities perform best rega rdless of density (Mees, 2010b, p.16). The question still remains: does density have any effect on public transportation usage? Urban form around stations, such as transit oriented development, or TODs, and park n' rides, can significantly increase ridership. This is through an increase in riders within the walkable catchment of a station as well as reaching out to those outside t he walkable catchment. Bernick and Cervero (1997), instead of offering a particular density threshold, suggest the adoption of transit villages as the solution. They believe, "implicit in the creation of transit villages is an increase in residential densi ties above those typically found in American suburbs. It stands to reason that mass transit needs mass,' or density, if people are to ride trains and buses in appreciable numbers" (Bernick & Cervero, 1997, p.74). And while some developments increase the r egion's average density, others bring the density, and activity intensity, to the stations themselves. So d ensity and the built environment do matter (discussed more in chapter five ) but transport policy is what can make a vast difference in the short run. There are a number of policies that can be considered in order to carry out a successful public transport system in the suburbs with out changing the entire urban form. According to J. Michael Thomson (1977) in his book, Great Cities and Their Traffic he suggests, "densities as low as 12 people per hectare would be sufficient to support an unsubsidised [sic] rail service supported by feeder buses, provided the railway serves a strong centre with a significant share of the region's jobs and activity" (Mees 2009,
!"#$%&'( # ,. # p.11). Feeder buses, and proper bus and rail integration, allow riders to leave their cars at home in favor of a convenient, efficient system. Feeder buses also cost significantly less can be installed rather quickly compared to modifying urban for m to accommodate higher density. Feeder buses, and other methods for increasing efficiency in a public transportation system, are a perfect way to boost patronage without having to increase densities The purpose of feeder buses in low density environments is to encourage the best possible alternative to the private motorcar (Martinovich, 2008, p.19) Competition through convenience and efficiency, according to Peter Martinovich, is what will make the public transport system successful against the private a utomobile in suburbia. Allowing these modes to be competitive, instead of always considering the density element, is essential in a society where the free market philosophy is engraved in politicians' minds. In order for rail to compete with the automobile on the same playing field the examples of successful transit systems serving cities with relatively low density suggest the need to consider four key factors in improving convenience and efficiency for the passenge r. The first factor is p roper bus and rail integration which allows riders to move effortlessly through the system The second factor, regional planning allows local municipalities to work together to provide physical coordination between the various ser vices, as well as financial coordination, which includes funding, revenue, and fare technology Strategically located stations such as along a freeway is the third factor and uses a different strategy than what would normally be considered in a high dens ity region And finally, residents in t he suburbs typically hold miscon ceptions concerning
!"#$%&'( # ,/ # their public transport infrastructure, which is why educational programs are the final factor in encouraging a higher ridership count With these four key factors i n mind, it is imperative to examine case studies that model a successful transportation system in the suburbs. Perth, Australia is a case study that has already seen results, and is now striving to improve their urban form to accommodate an even higher pat ronage. Orlando, Florida, which already sees a bus ridership of nearly 25 million passengers every year, is working on expanding their public transport infrastructure to include a commuter rail through the suburbs, and a high speed rail that will extend to the west coast city of Tampa, Florida. These two empirical case studies (discussed in further detail in chapters three and four) are prime examples of how public transportation, meaning both bus and rail, can thrive in an environment that has been not orio usly known as an automobile dependent metropolis. Since transport policy can be changed at a quicker rate than density, it is time for density based responses to take a back seat, and allow transport policies to become the priority in solving our environme ntal problems of transport. This is how we address our suburban transportation dilemma, and how cities in America and those abroad can truly become sustainable cities for the future (Mees, 2010, p.5). # # # # # # # # # #
!"#$%&'( # ,0 # Chapter III The Case for Perth, Australia From a transportation perspective, Perth is about as American as a city gets without actually being in America Automobiles are the dominant transportation mode for nearly every citizen, and the sprawling subdivisions, with numerous cul de sacs and gated c ommunities, span for nearly 135 km down the coast of the Indian Ocean (Martinovich, 2008a, p.9). The current subdivision patterns are traced back to the colonial land grants given to newcomers and were the only program in Australia at the time. Similar to the land grants in Mississippi, these lots continue to shape the scattered urban form in Western Australia today (Jake Schapper, personal communication, August 13 th 2010). And with one of the lowest urban densities in the world, it is no wonder Perth is t he fourth most car dependent city on Earth. In spite of these obstacles, Perth has made the commitment to public transportation, in the form of bus, rail and ferry, which has seen tremendous success throughout the region. Perth's strives to provide the four key transport policies, bus and rail integration, regional planning, strategically located stations, and education programs, that allow this case study to rise above and succeed in transforming a car dependent suburbia i nto a multi modal, transport competitive environment. The commitment to multi modal transit hasn't been easy. Perth's growth came post World War II, and transformed the region into one of the most car dependent cities in the world. There are roughly 723 v ehicles per thousand people in the region, and since Perth is one of the more prosperous cities in Australia, that number is projected to only climb higher (Curtis, 2009, p.39). And yet in spite of all this, a long and bumpy road led
!"#$%&'( # ,1 # Perth to succeed to pr oviding a thriving public transport network that is competitive with the private motorcar. Employees in the public sector quickly realized that "potential commuters had to be persuaded away from the availability, convenience and marginal low cost of the pr ivate car commuting into the city. What emerged was a system tailored to meet an existing low density land use and population with high expectation of private mobility" (Martinovich, 2008a, p. 17). Perth was able to progress from suburban sprawled, car dep endent chaos into a transit metropolis that allows both the automobile and public transit to co exist peacefully. To present an adequate history of transportation in the Perth region, one will have to start at the point when there was a small amount of ra il provided between the city of Perth and the port city of Fremantle prior to its closure from the government in 1979. This was following numerous attempts to provide a master plan for the city that encouraged more compact development and would eventually provide significant density for transit. Various metropolitan planning strategies throughout the decades (1955 Stephenson Hepburn Plan; 1970 The Corridor Plan; and, later, the 1990 MetroPlan and 2004 Network City) suggested a new technique for land use tra nsport integration. Compact development nodes would be scattered throughout the region including the periphery with the intent "to serve the regional centres both by public transport and an extensive high speed road network" (Curtis, 2009, 41). To connect these regional nodes, experts argued that highways should be expanded and the small portion of rail should be replaced with buses because the density was too low to support rail. And since the volume of the rail line did not reach a threshold capacity of around 20,000 commuters per hour, the idea was buses would, instead, offer
!"#$%&'( # ,2 # "greater flexibility and more than sufficient passenger capacity to meet demand" (Martinovich, 2008a, p. 11). This strategy would create self contained communities followed by radia l public transport systems that would flow from the centers to the central business district ( CBD ) Political backlash for the demise of the railways in the 1980 WA state elections changed the government seats but still had little effect By 1981, Perth had the lowest public transport's share of work trips than any then any other Australian city (a part from the capital, Canberra) The changes in government, however, and influential local groups such as Friends of the Railways, comprised of university stu dents, unions, and activists, encouraged a drastic modification in the transport policy. In July 1983, the railways were reopened and even electrified along two existing lines. In 1986, Transperth became the brand name for the all the public transport serv ices in the region, creating a coordination that passengers found more suitable and easy to use ("PTA Our History," n.d.). By 1993 a completely new northern
!"#$%&'( # ,3 # suburbs line was developed, which was later extended twice, and in 2007, the southern rail line was completed (Mees, 2010, p. 126). The 200 7 Southern Rail line was initially conceived in February of 2001, when a new government once again took office and the incoming Minister requested the Kwinana Freeway Busway be replaced with a railway. And althoug h construction work had been recommended previously, the Minster's "strong intervention" which was "vital and timely," was the "final important step in evolution of the Direct Route to Perth" (Martinovich, 2008a, p.15). This new construction along the free way was also supplemented by the new underground railway, which would run through the city center, expanding the transit hub at the heart of the CBD. These projects correlated with the new 2004 Network City pla n, which aimed to reduce travel ing through the development of "transit oriented Activity Centres" (Curtis & Olaru, 2007, p.2). The line focused strongly on providing activity nodes to th e sprawling southern region, an achievement seen through various planned TODs and regional centers. This mentality w as also further strengthened with the Directions 2031 plan, produced in August 2010, which, again, promoted activity centers (TODs) and con solidation around transit lines (WA Department of Planning, 2010). The project which also included two kilometers of tunneling and two underground stations, ended up costing roughly AU$2 billion and gave the city an extra 72 kilometers (45 miles) of modern electric rail with nine added stations. The State Government paid for the entire project yet the highway it ran through was paid almost entirely with federal dollars (Newman, Beatley, & Boyer, 2009, p.123). Each kilometer of rail constructed cost roughly AU$12 million, vastly cheaper than construction taking
!"#$%&'( # -4 # place in Melbourne, Australia with a price tag close to AU $80 million a kilometer (Public Transport Users Association, 2009). The addition of the Southern Rail Line brought the grand total to 172 route kilometers (107 miles) of rail in the Perth region by 2007, compared to 48 rou te kilometers (30 miles) in 1987 The system was officially opened in December of 2007 with a 90 percent approval rating from the citizens on opening day (Newman, Beatley, & Boyer, 2009, p.109) And if low construction costs and high approval was not enough, the rail network exceeded 80% o f their predicted patronage after only eleven weeks in service and has retained a high percentage of ridership to this day ( "Patronage Figures Soar 2008, p. 6). The new railway could attain a much higher passenger throughput than any express bus servic e from the southern suburbs After only a few months in service, the new railway carried "between two and threes times as many passengers as the average 16,000 people who rode the buses along the same route" ("Patronage Figures Soar," 2008, p.6). This high figure is extremely important becau se the outlying suburbs in Perth have struggled to convince the Oppositional party that railways will promote higher ridership than any express bus service. As stated by Minister MacTiernan, "while buses will always be a n important part of our public transport system, the evidence is that rail services have the greatest ability to attract commuters who have a choice. If we are to get people out of their cars and onto public transport, rail is a much better bet" ("Patronag e Figures Soar," 2008, p. 7). The success of this rail alone has proven the desire to choose is imperative, and the residents of Perth have surely spoken. Unfortunately, the transportation commitments seen in Perth are not always perfect. As recently as 2008, the Premier of Western Australia, Colin Bar nett disbanded
!"#$%&'( # -+ # a major rail project to Ellenbrook (a northern suburb described in chapter five) that is severely lack ing in transportation infrastructure There was also another rail corridor project that w ould connect the CBD with the international and domestic airport s but Barnett was quick to defund that project too in favor of roadway expansion s Premier Barnett felt Perth possessed n either the "scale or density" to support such a line to the airport, b ut that one would ultimately be built in the next "10 to 20 years" (Thomson & Sonti, 2008). For now, the Premier believes particular roads in the area should be upgraded before any rail line was to be installed. As for now Premier Barnett has introduced the "Country Age Pension Fuel Card, an $80 million plan to hand out $500 fuel cards each year to seniors in the Perth metropolitan area. According to the WAtoday the plan is aimed at "improving the mobility of about 35,000 elderly Western Australians" (S aplenza, 2009). The policy changes from a Labor controlled government prior to 2008, and now to the Liberal government with Premier Barnett, are profound. Politics is everything, an d Perth is certainly not immune to the setbacks endured when there is a cha nge in government. The residents of Perth know what they want, and they are undoubtedly outspoken when it comes to overcoming their automobile dependency. In spite of these recent policy decisions, n ow close to 50 million train trips are taken per year on this network, compared to only 10 million trips on the rail system twenty years previously (Martinovich, 2008a, p.9). And during the 2009 2010 fiscal year, Transperth had a total of 131.629 million b o a r d i n g s on their system ("PTA Annual Report 2009 2010, p.14). In fact, compared to the other capital cities across Australia, ############################## ######################### # 5 # Total boardings are comprised of fare paying boardings, free travel and transfers. # #
!"#$%&'( # -, # Perth has achieved the largest percentage increase in "journey to work" trips over the past couple of decades (see figure 3.2). There is no doubt these ridership numbers influence the growth pattern of the region. And with the highest birthrate in the country, the population is set to double from 2006 to 2050. Figure 3.2 Percentage Increase in Journeys to Work, Australian Capital Cities, 1991 2006 Source: PTUA Thankfully, there has been a steady increase in residencies located in the Perth Public Transport Area (PPTA) that are within walking distance (500 m eters ) of a Transperth stop. For the 2009/2010 year, the Acceptable Service Level ( A S L ) was at 82.9%, a rate that continues to ############################## ######################### # An ASL is defined as a "20 minute or better service in the peak flow direction during the peak and at least an hourly service throughout the core of the day" ("PTA Annual Report 2009 2010," p.11). #
!"#$%&'( # -# climb every year as services are improved (see figure 3.3) ("PTA Annual Report 2009 2010," p.11). The reliability is also rated astonishingly high, offering another incentive for commuters with tig ht schedules to ride the system (see figure 3.4). Another component of the Public Transport Authority's Annual Report is passenger satisfaction, which is rated extraordinarily high and gradually increases every year. Surveys are conducted each year on the Transperth network to gauge satisfactions, and con cerns, on riders' overall experience. The Royal Automobile Club, or RAC, of Western Australia also conducts surveys of residents to assess their use of the public transportation and what, if any, concerns they might have. RAC found that one of the biggest issues on the Transperth system is overcrowding. Overcrowding on the bus and train services almost seem s like a good problem transport planners must
!"#$%&'( # -. # wrestle with. For the short run, the State Government has ordered 15 three car train sets to "tackle" the g rowing problem but leaders in the RAC believe that is not enough to combat the growing number of riders on the system. Other concerns included infrequency of bus services, parking at stations and connections between the various services. These are all reas onable concerns that people are bound to have, especially if they are located in a more isolated, or newer, area (RAC, 2008). Matt Brown, RAC's head of member advocacy, believes these findings prove "the community valued the public transport system but the re was room for improvement" ("Connections a Big Concern," 2009). Residents have also learned to value Transperth's efforts to brand itself as a "green" system. Both the local and state governments are committing to a more sustainable transportation inf rastructure. In particular, Perth transformed their entire railway into an electric system, while also fueling their buses mainly on compressed natural gas and, more recently, hydrogen fuel cell buses. The hydrogen buses are part of an international trial and are supplied by British Petroleum at an oil refinery south of the Perth CBD. For Western Australia, the government considers hydrogen a "by product of the process of refining crude oil and thus essentially utilizes a waste product" (Beatley, 2008, p.29 ). Timothy Beatley, in Green Urbanism Down Under is hopeful that in the
!"#$%&'( # -/ # future, hydrogen will become "a major energy carrier" and could be created by "splitting water using solar energy," an energy source that has a considerable surplus in Perth (2008, p. 29). According to Simon Whitehouse, the project leader in Perth, it will still be awhile for these hydrogen buses to become "commercially viable" because the renewable energy technology in WA is not fully developed. Even still, the buses have carried ove r fifty thousands passengers at a distance of over forty thousand kilometers. Both drivers and passengers "appear to like the buses a lot" and have proven reliable as well as fuel efficient (Beatley, 2008, p.30). These initiatives have allowed Perth to be less oil dependent, and focus more on the energy sources that are abundant in their area. Beatley, moreover, supposes these projects have provided the public more visibility on green issues that promote less car dependency, which are "helping to shape Pert h's own self perception as a green capital" (2008, p.31). Despite these impressive features of Perth's system, the service is relatively cost effective. Transperth has about 100 contracts with private companies at any one time ranging from the bus operat ions to the maintenance of the infrastructure and cleaning. These contracts alone are "worth approximately $300 million a year and generate annual revenue of approximately $70 million" (Public Transport Authority, 2010a ). For the 2009/2010 fiscal year, Tr ansperth's total expenditure grew 3.5 percent to $691.2 million with fare revenue increasing 4.7 percent to $141.7 million. The total cost per passenger kilometer on the system, moreover, decreased 1.4 percent to $0.526 from $0.533 ("PTA Annual Report 2009 2010," p.13).
!"#$%&'( # -0 # By providing a viable alternative away from the private motorcar, Perth will allow itself to grow in populat ion and prosper economically and sustainably with it The region overcomes the density myth because it does not plan for the existing population, like most systems, but, instead, strives to drive both the future growth and development that is rapidly takin g shape. This is unmistakably a true transit success story in a city that was not really "dense enough at the time for most transport planners to consider rail viable" (Newman, Beatley, & Boyer, 2009, p.111). The next few sections present the key factors t hat have made Perth stand out over other feasible systems, and will hopefully provide suggestions that can be replicated in Orlando, Florida and other low dense cities wishing to achieve the success Perth has certainly accomplished. Bus and Rail Integrati on While Perth has been working extremely hard raising densities and walkability around most stations, the fact remains most of Perth's residents are still residing in a very low density and cannot reach a rail station by walking or cycling The ridership catchment at a station, or number of people that can reach that particular station through various means is greatly increased with park n' rides (discussed in chapter five ) and buses as alternative means to walking and cycling According to Peter Martinov ich, Director of Planning at the Public Transport Authority (PTA), at a typical station on the new Southern rail line, roughly 40% arrive by the private motorcar whereas approximately half will arrive by a feeder bus. These statistics vary by station, but most do not expect more than 10% to arrive by walking or cycling since the density doesn't support that kind of alternative transport ation. Martinovich believes "if the train can't go to the people, then the people have to come to the train and the station s have to become
!"#$%&'( # -1 # the focus of the urban density. So the stations have to be big enough in order to transfer a whole lot of people very quickly, they have to be convenient and the train frequency at such a level that missing a train doesn't matter" (persona l communication, August 19, 2010). The coordination between these two systems must be flawless so that the commuter believes in the reliability of the system, and trusts that it will work every trip. Moreover, if the rider is not within walking distance of their final destination, buses are key to provide transport in the final stretch. The integration of timetables and fares among the buses and rail, therefore, are just the start of creating an environment for the passenger that is convenient and easy to n avigate. Perth has been fortunate enough to have started this integration back in the 1990s, and has continuously improved their efficiency every year. Their commuter rail system branches out into five main lines, with the stations placed in a particular suburb or destination that may or may not be walkable. It is for this reason, among many others, that buses are essential in the equa tion. As stated by Peter Calthor pe in his new book, Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change "a good transit system has many layers, from local buses to bus rapid transitfrom light rail to subways and commuter trains. They all feed into and reinforce one another" (2011, p. 22). Park n' rides allow the commuter to drive to the station, but one must have a convenient way to reac h their final destination, especially if their destination is in a low dense environment and not the central business district. Perth's goal, which has been viewed as successful from the agencies involved, was "making transfers between the different routes near effortless [which] enables the public transport network to mimic the go anywhere, anytime' flexibility of a road
!"#$%&'( # -2 # system" (Mees, 2010, p. 8). Many local jurisdictions might not take this approach to heart if they continue to view transfers as a limit ation but Perth's triumph has been achieved by thinking about the passenger, and unreliable transfers can surely make or break ridership. Perth is one of the few regions in the world that provides one "fully integrated ticketing system," so boarding on an y bus, train, or ferry is as convenient and efficient as possible ("Destination Kwinana and Wellard," n.d.) Similar to the Oystercard in London, the entire system in Perth is all under one organizational banner name, Transperth, which sets the performance standards and fares despite the nearly 100 public and private partnership involved in the entire process. This eases transfers for the public and provides riders with a more stable transfer based system. According to Martinovich, "you need a seamless [sy stem], and we [at Transperth] don't operate buses in competition with the railway. We in fact feed the railway with buses; we don't operate them in parallel (Martinovich, personal communication, August 19 th 2010). By allowing quick and convenient transfers from bus to rail, Perth provides feeder buses that run through nearly all the suburban streets and promptly sends the rider to the nearest rail station. These buses expand the rail station's catchment significantl y, allowing riders to leave the car at home in favor of a quick bus trip to the nearest station. Transperth also supplies an easy to use "JourneyPlanner" on their website, where you can type in the your initial address (or a landmark) then your final dest ination and the system will calculate various scenarios on how to reach your destination conveniently and smoothly, whether that includes walking, bus, rail, or ferry. Not near a computer? If you know your bus stop number, you can text the stop number to T ransperth and they will provide the next seven scheduled departing times from that location (Public
!"#$%&'( # -3 # Transport Authority, 2010f ). These user friendly programs are perfect for everyone, whether that is a commuter taking a new route to work or a foreigner usi ng Perth's public transit for the first time. Another important component with bus and rail coordination in a region is determining fare rates and appropriate ways to pay. Public and private agencies are involved throughout the entire Transperth network yet fares and cards and under the same system Any transfer based network, such as Perth, requires transfer friendly fares. Fares are determined by the distance traveled via a zoning system as opposed to the number of transfers one makes. Riders are able to purchase one ticket, or an inexpensive day ticket, at the beginning of their trip that can be used until their final destination is reached. A convenient option for locals who use this public transport system frequently, then, is the SmartRider card. This card is the "only electronic ticketing system in full operation in Australia" and has gained significant popularity since its introduction in 2007 ("Have a Say On Public Transport," 2009). This is a reusable card that can be purchased for AU$10 (AU$5 for Concession cards), which makes the fare process even easier for regular commuters. According to the Transperth website, "SmartR ider is Transperth's electronic ticketing system that uses smartcard technology incorporating an embedded microchip and an ae rial to enable the smartcard to communicate with
!"#$%&'( # .4 # processors located on board Transperth buses and ferries and at train stations" ( Public Transport Authority, 2010c ). This card can be purchased by locals and provid es either a 25% or 15% discount on all fare s, depending on how one reloads the card. The beauty of this card is it can be used for rail, bus, and ferry, despite the various agencies that are involved in the whole process. This creates a truly multi modal fare system, where the locals view the enti re sy stem as one, cohesive network. And with a quick swipe of the card at the beginning of each route and at the end (the "tagging" process takes less than half a second ), the boarding process is highly efficient and timesaving ( Public Transport Authority, 2010g ). And oddly enough the SmartR ider card can also be used to pay for parking at a number of Transperth's parking bays ("Smartrider Cards," 2007). One aspect unique to the Perth system, though, is its trust in the passengers when it comes to swiping at a rail stop. The main station in the heart of the city still requires turn stiles, but the majority of the other stations simply have the rider swipe their SmartR ider card as they enter the platform, with the intention of swiping as they exit their final rail stop. This process sounds risky because riders could potentially bypass paying altogether, but officers are occasionally present at particular platforms and random
!"#$%&'( # .+ # searche s on the trains can occur Transperth makes it clear that o fficers have the rig ht to examine a rider's SmartR ider card or ticket to ensure a transaction was made. To further elaborate on the SmartR ider card, concession prices are available for the disabled, elderly, veterans, children and students throughout the entire system with some even granted free rides during off peak hours. These populations are then encouraged to use public transportation as opposed to the automobile, and are typically riding the system during off peak hours instead of the designated high ridership commuter times. Students at the local universities are encouraged to purchase the card through their student affairs office, with the idea being that they will commute to school through rail and buses, as a substitute for paying high prices for a spot in the alrea dy overcrowded university parking lot. Discount schemes such as this and the Vancouver U Pass, which provides semester tickets for students as part of their student fees, "are aimed at cultivating a life long public transport riding habit. They have the ad ded benefit of eliminating fare evasion by a population that in many cities forms the largest group of evaders" (Mees, 2010, p. 175). School aged children also have high ridership during off peak times and are also granted significant discounts for their commute to and from school. For primary school, kids pay no more than AU$0.50 when traveling to and from school on a bus, train, or ferry. In the United States, yellow school buses are seen from coast to coast, a rarity in Perth since the public transit sy stem is already convenient enough for school children. With the integration of buses and rail so in sync and safety one of the top priorities of Transperth, parents feel comfortable sending their kids to school in a transportation system that is both relia ble and convenient in a suburban region.
!"#$%&'( # ., # Other discounts include seniors living in state, where they are allowed free access on all routes between the hours of 9:00am to 3:30pm, Monday through Friday, and all day Saturday and Sunday, including public hol idays. This discount was considered following a trail run for a full year where PTA, in their annual report, found the "reduction in fare paying boardingsfor seniors and pensioners did not impact significantly on fare revenue" ("PTA Annual Report 2009 201 0," p.13). The PTA then extended the free travel to many veterans who are now eligible after filling out a SmartR ider application, and war widows who benefit from concession rate fares. These discounts incentivize passengers to travel on a reliable system, especially if the alternative option, car dependency, is either too expensive or physically draining ( Public Transport Authority, 2010b ). Whether a patron purchases a ticket or uses their SmartRider card for their ride into the city, t he Central Area Tran sport (CAT) is a convenient way to get around in the CBDs of Perth, Joondalup and Fremantle at no cost to the rider. Transperth funds a network of smaller, high frequency buses that make a free loop through the cities, which helps to get around without the use of an automobile (Beatley, 2008, p. 31). As stated on the Transperth website, "when you take a Transperth CAT bus trip, you are doing your bit for the environment. Each trip helps to reduce the number of cars on the road, therefore helping to improve the city's air" (Public Transport Authority, 2010d ). And since these three bus routes have stops right outside the rail stations, there's no excuse not to take public transportation (instead of the automobile) in and out of the CBD since you can quickly, a nd cost effectively, make it to your final destination in the downtown.
!"#$%&'( # .# By allowing convenient transfers between bus and rail, a zonal system to compute fare costs, and free travel within the CBDs, Perth has managed to cover nearly all the grounds in the region. As one added bonus, in 1999 Transperth introduc ed two CircleRoutes, which take r oughly three hours to complete a n entire journey and runs either clockwise or counter clockwise around the greater Perth region. CircleRoute services run every 15 minu tes on weekdays, and 30 minutes on weekends, and gives passengers easy access to shopping centers, universities, and schools designed at an inexpensive fare cost (riders will never pay more than 2 zonal fares). Around 100,000 passengers a week take advanta ge of this system, with school and university trips an attractive option for many passengers ( Public Transport Authority, 2010d ). This route is also a great option when avoiding the transfer into the city, especially if the rider's destination is only a fe w suburbs over in a different direction. Proper bus and rail integration offers more than just convenience to riders. By having a system that is reliable and easy to use, it is surely an incentive to utilize when going out late at night instead of the ca r. Transperth's buses and rail often run until midnight or 2:00a.m. (reasonable for heading into the city) but a NightRider bus can take you home at the end of the night. While taxis are a viable option, Transperth's NightRider departs the Fremantle statio n, a popular location for bars and clubs, every hour between 1:00a.m and 4:00a.m. There's a flat fee of AU$5, and the buses have two routes will drop riders off anywhere along the route (so long as it's safe). The routes are limited, but allow passengers t o get closer to Perth CBD where it may be cheaper to find a taxi for the reminder of the way home. The rules (on the Transperth website) even have a sense of humor, stating "No eating or drinking: that means no half drunk cans of beer,
!"#$%&'( # .. # take away cups of co ffee or half eaten kebabsNo dancing in the aisles: especially the Macarena and Birdy Dance. It doesn't matter how much you've had to drink, there's just no excuse" (Public Transport Authority, 2010e ). Measures such as these have had a positive impact on r educing drunk driving, a service that everyone can support. With proper coordination with buses and rail in Perth, the region has succeeded in providing a networ k that allows passengers to "go anywhere, anytime." Feeder buses are provided throughout the low dense, single family houses in the suburbs, as well as areas with a higher density. These buses work in sync with Perth's five rail lines, and through integrated timetables and branding, allow for convenience that many planners and government officials might overlook. Perth has also considered demand at certain times and acted accordingly (like the implementation of the NightRider bus and low fares for schoolchildren). All these, and many more factors, create the competition needed to persuade commuter s out of their vehicles and into a cohesive system that is both reliable and effective. Regional Planning In order to maintain a steady form of bus and rail coordination throughout the city and beyond its limits, regionalism at the local and state levels needed to play a major factor in the policy and implementation of Perth's transit lines. Australia is known for their impressive regional plans which sets a vision for "more sustainable and compact growth patterns and are tackling head on the unsustainable sprawl that characterizes much of the recent past there and that requires looking beyond the state and local levels" (Beatley, 2008, p. 188). In Perth, the region has agreed to support this methodology, which is unique considering many local governments c hoice to work independently to
!"#$%&'( # ./ # support their own agenda and finances. Perth's current regional p lan, known as the "Network City," gives a distinct prominence to the environment by creating a system of transport corridors that feed off into various activity nodes around the region. Alannah MacTiernan, Minister for Transport, Planning and Infrastructure in Western Australia from 2001 to 2008, commented, "we need an interactive city where you have a whole heap of small nodes developing with linkages between ea ch otherThis delivers small centres of activities all over the city. It's a village concept" (Delaney, 2005). Public participation was a foremost component in the creation of a reg ional plan for the area. Termed "Dialogue with the City," the Network City regional strategy had an unprecedented involvement with the community and "was intended to engage and consult the public about what sort of future vision they would like to see for their city" (Beatley, 2008, p. 208). Rather th an a single event, Dialogue with the City was a process that included surveys sent to over 8,000 residents, a series of papers published on the web and local newspapers, describing the vision of the plan, future scenarios for the city reported on an hour program on the local stations an interactive web site, a competition at a local s chool to bring a young audience into the decision making process, and radio broadcasts with various experts (Western Australian Planning Commission, 2004, p. V). One of the main principles the government consistently addressed was "making planning decisions with the needs of all Perth region residents in mind, not just local residents" (Western Australian Planning Commission, 2004, p. 23). Furthermore, priorities were set for the regional plan, including a "connected, multicentered city," reduced car dependence, and the most important one, "strong local communities (city of villages)" (Beatley, 2008, p. 210). These themes were given top
!"#$%&'( # .0 # precedence when consulting with the various local and state agencies, and created a regional network in which people could have convenient and efficient access to anywhere. And following the publication of the "Perth: Network City" report, a local newspaper attempted to discredit the process by creating a campaign that enc ouraged NIMBYism (Not In My BackYard) They reported the new city layout would be more compact, and thus would promote "building flats in people's backyards and removing open space for development." The public was outraged, but the anger was directed at th e newsp aper for reporting false claims. S ince so many people h ad participated in the dialogue, residents sent in hundreds of letters to the column expressing their anger The newspaper's campaign collapsed, partly because the people understood that plannin g was "able to focus density to create viable centers and transit while retaining other parts of the city for less intensive activity, including bushland [or native habitat]" (Beatley, 2008, p. 210). The decision to support regional planning is indeed noth ing new in Western Australia, but coupled with public participation has allowed the system to expand the concept of planning to create a political process that everyone can approve of (Curtis, 2009, p. 47). Regional plans dating from the 1950s failed to cr eate any form of public involvement that would foster a sense of pride among the community. This Network City plan, however, certainly accomplished more than it had set out for, and created a truly unique process that was beneficial to all. There are also various other regional initiatives taking place in the Perth region to foster a more cohesive transport network. The Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council,
!"#$%&'( # .1 # which produced the 2010 Regional Integrated Transport Strategy Action Plan, aims to p rovide strategies that complement the existing policies by the Western Australia Planning Commission. The report addresses five key focus areas: "integrated transport and land use planning; public transport service provision; connectivity and accessibility for walking and cycling; road and freight infrastructure; and community engagement, education and behaviour [sic] change" ("Regional Integrated Transport Strategy Action Plan 2010 2013," 2010, p.5). And while this organization focuses only on a section of the entire Perth region, their purpose is to take the entire region into consideration and encourage policy changes that would be beneficial for not only their particular section, but also the region as a whole. Regionalism has always been a main component in Perth's transportation planning. By incorporating the local communities, as well as government entities from all over the region, Perth has been able to provide an easy to use system that everyone can enjoy. And while Perth was able to come to gether for the common good, the United States has a history of struggle when it comes to regional planning Fortunately, regional planning organizations are available as a means to discuss a regional vision that benefits both the local and regional jurisdi ctions. Strategically Located Stations When searching for ways to make public transport competitive with the automobile, particular in low density suburbs, strategically located stations can make all the difference. For Perth, allowing a rail line to flo w into a city via the freeway corridor was certainly a bold option especially since it meant placing stations at major intersections along the freeway route But that is just what happened with Perth's
!"#$%&'( # .2 # Southern rail line as it replaced the Kwinana Freeway Busway in 2007. The decision came in 2002, when a government shift in power allowed transit advocates to finally see an extension of their already successful rail line into the southern suburbs. The transit service was able to be fast and competitive in a n environment that caters to a scattered, low density, car dependent lifestyle. As stated by Peter Martinovich, Now what we've done in Perth is we tried to locate stations where they are convenient at major intersections between the fr eeway road systems and arterial roads that feed the freeway so that when the people come to the station they have a choice; its looking at them in the face, do I continue on my journey on the freeway or do I terminate my jour ney and take the train?' (personal communication, August 19, 2010). The southern line connecting the Perth CBD to Mandurah has a total of nine stations, and eight of them are located at major intersections with the freeway. The trains tend to mov e 30 percent faster than traffic, with an average speed of 55 mph (90 kph) and a maximum speed of 80 mph (130 kph). Peter Newman, following the success of the patronage that far exceeded the expectations of planners, noted "there is little else that can co mpete with this kind of option for creating a future in the car dependent suburbs of many cities" (2009, p. 94). And competition is key. In a region like Perth that has seen tremendous growth and prosperity in its economy, the private automobile appears t o be the lifestyle choice of many residents. By allowing commuters to visually see the transit on their way to work, especially during peak congestion, has a profound effect on alternating their lifestyle choice. Limitations, however, still exist Creati ng transit oriented development at stations is not ideal because of the constraints of the freeway but it's still possible Riders, moreover, must also cross the busy roadway, and providing infrastructure on all sides
!"#$%&'( # .3 # gets expensive. Some may even feel li ke "second class citizens," or at least "in comparison to those speeding past in their private vehicles" (Freemark, 2011). High rise buildings can be used as sound walls and bridge compatibility is promising. These new projects will also encourage redevelo pment of the existing freeway system. For example, Perth's foreshore, located alongside the freeway, saw numerous enhancements instead of degradation that would have occurred if roadway expansion had taken place instead. Still, mixed use development and tr aditional neighborhood design tend to be more difficult along a busy freeway then say, a greenfield site on the outskirts of town (discussed in chapter five ). Education Programs Finally, after bus and rail integration is set, regional planning improves co nnectivity, and the railway along the freeway finally allows commuters to see the efficiency of transit, education is a key priority. When it comes to public transportation, people tend to have preconceived notions that discourage their desire to use the s ystem. In a household survey in Perth, participants overestimated the amount of time it took to ride public transportation by 50% while underestimating the commute in their private automobile by 20% (Socialdata, 2000). It is the job of TravelSmart, then, t o grant households and workplaces regarding the reality of transit, and encourage alternative modes of transportation in their daily lives. TravelSmart was introduced in Perth as a pilot program in the late 1990s and was a "behavioral, dialogue based marke ting strategy to empower people to reduce their trips by automobile and to use transit and bikes and walking more often" (Beatley, 2008, p. 34). Behavior change programs are constantly shifting following new research but this strategy has been so successfu l in Western
!"#$%&'( # /4 # Australia that they eventually extended it to all other Australian states and now operate in cities around the world, including a few in the United States. This program was initially conceived by Social Data, a German firm run by Werner Brog that sought to focus on particular communities that were on the fence about choosing a non car alternative. TravelSmart also seeks to support "cross sectoral leadership by helping the business community, institutions (such as universities and hospitals), s chools and local governments reduce the car dependence of their staff and customers by overcoming infrastructure and information barriers" (Garnaut, 2008, p. 1). The crucial theme in this type of agenda is simply providing the correct information in a sett ing that is personalized and appropriate for the specific type of community. Following in depth interviews throughout Perth, a study concluded nearly half of all car trips could be made using "accessible and time competitive a lternatives" (Garnaut, 2008, p. 1) yet people were just not informed and aware of the alternatives. Benefits and behaviors can either be perceived or actual, but it is the job of TravelSmart to take apart these perceptions to create the reality of various transportation modes. People have the potential to change, and TravelSmart is a way of opening up the possibility when a transit system is already in fruition (Thom, 2009, p. 3). The program begins in neighborhoods with a telephone survey by a TravelSmart representative. If the family is interested, more information is given out and the representative will even come to the house (maybe arriving by bike) to discuss alternative modes in further detail. The representative will distribute pamphlets and "test tickets," to try out transit in their area. Families with children are strongly encouraged to participate so to explain the importanc e of walking and cycling for a child's health. This process can
!"#$%&'( # /+ # run up to two months and specifically addresses "information barriers by localising [sic] and simplifying information to make it relevant to people's needs;" while also providing "motivation through dialogue and personalised [sic] communication;" and assisting "with system experience particularly for new users of public transport" (Garnaut, 200 8, p. 2). This process is perfect for families and neighborhoods thinking about transitioning but have certain informational barriers blocking them in favor of the automobile. The program not only works on an individual level in neighborhoods, but also f unctions to support organizations in the TravelSmart Workplace program. Jointly run by the Department of Environment and Conservation and the Department of Transport, the TravelSmart Workplace program works slightly different than the household process in that it caters to an entire office, and possible customers, who benefit from the company. TravelSmart representatives work diligently putting together a program that specifically accommodates the office space and users. Six basic steps are used to complete this process that creates a plan that is in no way identical to the next: 1. Getting Started deciding on the scope of plan (just for employees, or including visitor/ clients, how many sites, timeframe, focus on commutin g or include business trips etc), and establishing a working group to oversee the plan. 2. Access Audit identifying barriers and opportunities for sustainable travel to and from the workplace. 3. Travel Survey surveying employees (perhaps visitors/students/ clients/patients also) to determine how people are currently travelling to and from the site. This can be in the form of an online, printed or intercept survey. 4. Stakeholder Workshops engaging stakeholders (including employees) in the process to create sense of ownership for the plan and collect ideas for action. 5. Writing the Plan drafting a travel plan outlining what actions the workplace will undertake; including timeframe, responsibilities, and budget. 6. Gaining management approval for implementation of the plan (Thom, 2009, p. 1 2).
!"#$%&'( # /, # This process takes a lot of wo rk and dedication, but the community benefits are astonishing. Perth's TravelSmart program was able to reach out to 418,500 residents and had an average 10 per cent reduction in car trips. O ne region, South Perth, located near the CBD, reduced their car tri ps by 15 percent (Beatley, 2008, p. 35). This translates into an annual reduction of 30 million car trips, 290 million car kilometers, and reducing greenho use gases by 88,000 tons. And a part fr om the sustainability aspect this program also increased phys ical activity (from more walking and cycling), improved social well being ( social interactions on the streets) and increased security (eyes on the street) (Garnaut, 2008, p. 3). This program may have also changed behaviors in a way that resulted in a 90 p ercent approval rating of Perth's Southern rail line prior to its opening, a stunning rate for any suburban transit system (Newman, 2009, p. 111). The plan might not prove as successful in other cities and regions. Perth was able to accomplish such a hig h behavior change because residents perceive transit, walking, and cycling as less feasible in a low dense environment. The TravelSmart program is also only good if its backed up by a really good service. This program is pretty much a marketing strategy, and "marketing without product is useless" (Martinovich, personal communication, August 19 th 2010). TravelSmart has been cautious by only reaching out to communities that have a high frequency bus service, which could possibly account for the high decreas e in automobile usage. But overall, Martinovich strongly believes "if you're going to provide a new service, and you think it's good, you must educate people and give them the advantage and why they should use that instead of the motorcar" (personal commun ication, August 19 th 2010). Providing the TravelSmart program in locations that only supply exceptional service is not drawback, but an excellent marketing
!"#$%&'( # /# tactic that becomes the most cost effective approach. In the end, families, communities, instituti ons and workplaces must be willing to make the change. This program does not use any methods beyond standard marketing to encourage people and the decision to change must occur solely with the individual (Wake, 2004). Offices may choose to enact disincenti ves for the automobile, such as an increase in parking fees, and incentives for alternative modes, like free transit passes or facilities for cyclists. TravelSmart creates the dialogue for this change to occur, and finally supports an environment that offe rs an equal playing field when it comes to incentives for both the automobile and alternative modes. The success in Perth, moreover, has led to additional education programs, including the more recent LivingSmart program, which aims to reduce the environ mental impact in household neighborhoods. Introduced in 2008, this process "gives people the chance for an eco coach to come to their home and provide an audit of their energy, water, waste, and travel, and suggest options for them" (Newman, 2009, p. 60). As of now, the 30,000 household experiment has produced an average of around 1.5 tons in greenhouse savings per household. Once again, when education is presented to Western Australians in this format, significant changes in behaviors are made. Conclusion For a transit system in a low density environment to thrive and exceed their ridership predictions, there needs to be competition between public transit and the private automobile. In Perth, transport planners took the approach of the "go anywhere, anyti me" strategy, which was achieved through bus and rail coordination, regional planning at the state and local levels, strategically located stations along the freeway and education
!"#$%&'( # /. # programs to debunk their misperceptions of transit. Perth realized these ma jor components early on, which led a successful campaign for a highly competitive alternative to the motorcar. Commuters understand the system and see the benefits of public transport, especially if it means avoiding congestion at peak hour traffic. Studen ts, senior citizens, and other concession groups also benefit from the bus and rail, as they are granted reduced fares to accommodate their off peak travel. These components are all a part of the method to create a convenient and competitive alternative to the automobile. Martinovich strongly believes that "In Perth, the convenience of the moto r car has historically been absolutely paramount. If we're building new public transport, we must design it to compete with the motor car and be better. Otherwise, don 't both er building it at all" ( PTUA Myth 2010). Perth was willing to take these risks, and it truly transformed their city into a twenty first century model of suburban living. # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #
!"#$%&'( # // # Chapter IV The Case for Orlando, Florida Orlando, Florida is similar to many American cities and has been known for its sprawling subdivisions along the Interstate 4 corridor and incentivizing the automobile. These incentives include an increase in roadway spending among the tri county area, incl uding Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties as well as underfunding their bus system known as Lynx (run by the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority). This has resulted in a lot of s etbacks wi th regards to transportation alternatives in the r egion. For example, a recent study by CEOs For Cities ranked Orlando as the 8 th worst traffic city based on total driving time, and tied for 6 th with Dallas Fort Worth Arlington and San Jose for total hours of delay with a total of 53 hours (Orlando Busine ss Journal, 2010). Orlando also has the highest pedestrian fatality rate of any metropolitan region in the count r y. And despite the mere 1.3% of people who walk to work in city, Orlando has a fatality rate of 2.9 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents. In other words, "the few people who do walk in Orlando face a relatively high risk of being killed by a vehicle" (Ernst & Shoup, 2009, p.7). In Dangerous by Design Ernest and Shoup report Orlando's high risk of fatality compared to other metropolitan regions in Florida. Figure 4.1: The Risk of Walking in Selected Florida Metro Area Source: Dangerous by Design Transportation for America
!"#$%&'( # /0 # This reality instills fear and further prevents the use of alte rnative modes of transportation other than the private automobile to get from one place to another. Moreover, development in the region, similar to the rest of the state, "has sprawled in all directions, with road n etworks built solely with the goal of moving cars quickly. Sharing streets with bikes or people was rarely a consideration in plan ning and construction" (Tracy, 2011). In spite of all this, the Orlando region, on the whole, is working to install a transpo rtation network that would reduce dependence on the automobile and create jobs to boost the economy in a time where jobs are the top priority. Plans for a commuter rail, known as SunRail, an expressway linking the northern suburbs, and the expansion of the current bus system are all geared towards creating a future for Orlando that includes competition and prosperity for the twenty first c e n t u r y Orlando has been struggling for decades to make this multi modal transportation vision become a reality. In the 1990s the city of Orlando attempted to pass a light rail referendum that would have provided rail throughout the three counties, but the effort was abandoned for fear of the cost and lack of passengers to support it. One anti transit organization, Ax the Tax (www.axthetax.org), went so far as to state in November, 1999 that "Light rail has been linked to the increase in CRIME, both at stations that serve the c ommunities, and in the neighborhoods themselvesWe have no way of forecasting what impact it may have on our neighborhoods, but experience teaches that what has ############################## ######################### # 5 # It is important to note that the high speed rail, connecting Orlando to Tampa, is no longer receiving federal funding and, therefore, has been put on hold for the time being. The goal of this chapter is to explain what is currently happening, and while the high speed rai l offers an important connection between two growing regions, the focus will remain on what is happening at the time of this writing I hope, for Florida's sake, that high speed rail becomes an essential component for reducing our automobile dependence, bu t the reality is that this initiative will take much longer than anticipated. For now, the commuter rail in Central Florida is the only hope we have for introducing transit in a region that has ignored it for too long. #
!"#$%&'( # /1 # happened elsewhere will probably happen here as well" (Ax the Tax, 1999). These comments, as we ll as other issues raised including lack of funding, noise, automobile and pedestrian accidents, and ineffectively relieving congestion, had successfully installed fear in the voters and citizens in the tri county area, an incident that must be reversed fo r the present day. Nevertheles s, in recent years, Orlan do has committed to a linear commuter rail system, that would be completed in two phases, and hopes, in the future, to have a high speed rail line connecting Orlando with the city of Tampa to the we st and, in time, to Miami in the south SunRail, the commuter rail, works with various city and county governments throughout the tri county area as well as regional organizations, such as MetroPlan Orlando, which focuses on transportation commitments for the good of the region. As stated on their website, MetroPlan Orlando's job is to provide "the forum for local elected officials, their staff, and industry experts to work together to improve transportation options for Central Florida" and therefore mediat es the majority of discussions regarding public transportation in the Orlando region and beyond. MetroPlan Orlando is part of the greater metropolitan organizations created across the country to facilitate in transportation development, and
!"#$%&'( # /2 # plays an impera tive role in public outreach to the community as well as the municipalities. The SunRail project plans to operate mainly during "peak" traffic, thereby providing an incentive for commuters to take advantage of its infrastructure. The first phase has a com pletion date of 2013 and will run 31 miles from DeBary, in Volusia County to Sand Lake Road Station, in Orlando. The second phase will extend the corridor from both the northern and southern ends and will add another 30 miles to the rail line ( What Is Co mmuter Rail?, 2011). And although this regional project has received controversial critiques, the site plans and operational details remain rather vague and open for discussion with the community as the design stage gets underway Figure 4.3: SunRail Tra in Decoration Source: Florida Department of Transportation Most recently, Orange County has announced the prospect of another commuter rail project that would connect the northern suburbs in Eustis and Tavares with the Orlando CBD. Known as the Orang e Blossom Express, the route would use the existing freight tracks and connect through Lake and Orange County. The feasibility for the train to be up and running could be as early as 2014, and roughly 200,000 residents in north Lake
!"#$%&'( # /3 # County would benefit. T rack improvements are the main setback in this project's viability for the near future. Nearly 60 miles of track dating back nearly a century would have to be improved if the train hopes to move more than 25mph. The cost is estimated at $18.4 million, but the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has already agreed to fund $13.8 million while the Florida Central Railroad has committed $1. 2 million. The County commissioners for both Lake and Orange are also on board with this project, believing "In the short term, faster moving freight trains would spur industrial and manufacturing growth nea r the rail line, creating a boom for the area's e conomy In the long term, the track upgrad es would allow passenger trains" (Comas, 2011). In this economy, supporting a project that will not only boost freight travel to encourage economic growth and job opportunities, as well as provide an alternative mod e of travel, seems like the best of both worlds. These projects' achievements, among many other long range plans for the Orlando region, will depend on the citizens' choice to use these systems. The mentality is, and always has been, to use the automobile when it is most co nvenient. Some c itizens are skeptical that these new systems would not benefit them or the society at large and would cost taxpayers millions of dollars for infra structure that will go unused. A m entality like this is ever present in the United States, and Orlando is far from the exception. But this may start changing as gas prices are on the rise, the environmental impact becomes clearer, and our country attempts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. According to a recent nation wide poll by Transportation For America, "seven out of 10 peoplesaid they would like to spend less time in their cars, but feel they have no other choice" (Tracy, 2010). Geoff Anderson, co chair for the Transportation For
!"#$%&'( # 04 # America campaign, is starting to see a change in desire for alternative modes of transportation, but people don't have the infrastructure to actually change their behavior. Anderson reports, "In small towns and big cities alike, Americans are saying loudly and clearly that their lives would be better, and their nation stronger, if we had world class public transportation and more options for walking and bicycling" (Tracy, 2010). The message seems clear that there needs to be a change in America's infrastructure, but will the Central Florida re gion be a part of it? Although various studies have presented contradictory findings, many government officials and citizens groups are outspoken in Orlando by acknowledging that no one will use the system. A recent poll conducted by a non profit organizat ion in Osceola County was determining if a penny sales tax would pass in the November 2010 elections, bringing the tax from seven percent, up to eight percent. They concluded most citizens hesitated to support the SunRail initiatives in the tax (this may b e because there was no clear explanation of the commuter rail s purpose) but suppor ted roadway expansion since it would apparently, bring in construction jobs. 400 people were polled via telephone, which is considered an adequate number of participants de spite a population of over 263,000 in the county. This study, despite its obvious flaws to encourage roadway construction and not public transportation, was viewed as justification for taxpayer money to go towards roads and bridges since citizens would sup port the SunRail. According to Bill Nagy, a board member of Osceola's Business and Taxpayers Association, "they didn't really want to find out if people wanted this. They wanted to put it on the ballot regardless" (Rivera Lyles, 2010). Allowing this poll, which clearly has an agenda and biases, to display the
!"#$%&'( # 0+ # thoughts of citizens in the Orlando region is unreasonable and should not be taken seriously for determining policy changes. On the other hand, MetroPlan Orlando and University of Central Florida Depar tment of Sociology forged a partnership and have been surveying residents on transportation issues in the tri county area for the past couple of decade s The most recent survey, published in May 2009 titled "Transportation Issues of Central Florida: A Surv ey of Public Opinion," concluded that "large majorities endorse the view that Central Florida needs a more balanced transportation system including increased transit options like trains and buses'" (88.1 percent approval) and that "passenger rail needs to be considered as an alternative to the continued expansion of highway capacity" (84 percent approval) (Wright, Jasinski, Donley, & Truman, 2009, p. 3). Moreover, once the participant was asked if they had heard of SunRail before (if no, a brief explanatio n was given), 92.8 percent agreed, "a passenger rail system would be a valuable addition to our transportation system" (Wright, Jasinski, Donley, & Truman, 2009, p. 17). Overall, their 2009 study showed consistent results over the past couple decades and c ontinued to find that transportation issues are vastly important to the majority of residents surveyed. The public is also routinely "not satisfied with existing congestion levels and people expect more to be done to resolve transportation problems in the region" (Wright, Jasinski, Donley, & Truman, 2009, p.2). These data (whether they are completely accurate or not is debatable) offer an alternative to the previous study mentioned, and allows transport planners to rely on multiple data sources when evaluat ing policy changes that affect both public transportation and roadways.
!"#$%&'( # 0, # Nevertheless, l ocal and state officials disagree exponentially as to th e extent of the projects, with Republicans and D emocrats especially torn at the issue of mass transit funding. R ecently, though, Republicans and Democrats have rallied together in bipartisanship in support rail projects while the current Florida governor is halting progress on any form of alternative transportation, including the high speed rail. In spite of this, O rlando mayor, Buddy Dyer, is hopeful for the future. In his 2011 State of the City speech, Dyer affirms, While we're disappointed with our Governor's decision to reject High Speed Railwe remain hopeful there may be a way in the future to connect Orlando to our nation's bullet train network. In the meantime, we're focused on breaking ground on Central Florida's first commuter rail lineNo project in our region will have the power to impact people's daily lives the way SunRail will. SunRail will provide a desperately needed alternative to clogged roadways and rising gas prices. SunRail will create 113 thousand jobs and billions in economic impact. Even if you never set foot on this train, SunRail will make Central Florida a better place ( City of Orlando, 2011). For Dyer's vision to become a reality, the mentality of an automobile dependent society needs to cross over to a reality of alternatives. Like Perth, the four key transport policies, bus and rail integration, regional planning, strategically located statio ns, and education programs, must play a vital role in the creation of a twenty first century transportation network. Perth was able to succeed despite the low density, and now it is Orlando's turn to prove American cities have what it takes to transform sp rawling suburbs into transit nodes that everyone can benefit from. Bus and Rail Integration Currently, Orlando has a bus network, known as Lynx with 290 buses that serve a 2,500 square mile area with 65 fixed route services ( "Lynx Fast Facts, n.d.). The buses serve the three major counties that will also be served by the commuter rail once
!"#$%&'( # 0# completed And while SunRail is in the design stages in Cen tral Florida, bus integration remains vagu e and possibly not playing a vital role in the early design and lo cation process as it is in Perth Perhaps this could be because of their drop in revenue despite ridership increases i n recent years. Nevertheless, the agency remains optimistic, and hopes revenues will increase in the coming years and allow for proper fee ders buses to accommodate the rail stations (East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, p.15). The Orlando Sentinel had an article recently addressing the issue of bus and rail integration and the dire need to have the right coordination in time for S unRail's opening. The article, titled Connecting to SunRail: The Gist: Lynx holds the key to much of commuter rail's success in Central Florida offers advice on how Lynx can guarantee a more efficient service which would result in a higher patronage. The article believes Lynx is "perpetually underfunded" and "has had to trim service or, too often, offer riders woefully infrequent pick ups and poor on time performance" (Copper, 2010). This routine cannot continue if Orlando hopes to have anywhere close to t he success rate in Perth. Thankfully, agencies are hopeful. If Lynx plans new additions to their services and coordinates with the SunRail schedule "early and thoughtfully," that will make a world of difference. As of now, Lynx plans to add 16 new buses to serve the 11 stations in phase I, while also tweaking some existing bus routes that would benefit from the rail. In total, 36 individual routes would be served specifically for the commuter rail stations in phase I, with subsequent expansions once phase I I is completed. The article also suggests "it's important that running so many routes to the stations won't compromise existing service" (Copper, 2010). This approach differs from the methodology in Perth when it comes to the role buses play in conjunctio n with rail.
!"#$%&'( # 0. # While Perth's goal is to not have the buses and rail compete with one another, Orlando is offering a select number of services whose goal is to assist the rail. The rest will still accommodate the remaining regions that cannot be supported by the one rail route. This strategy works, for the time being, but as SunRail expands (or other rail lines are constructed), buses will need to play a vital role in "feeding" the rail system. And with convenient transfers, the ride from bus to rail, to possi bly another bus, won't be difficult. The article also mentions a fare system is needed which will work throughout all the counties, including Volusia County, which has its own bus service and station in DeBary. Similar to the SmartRider card, the local age ncies will need to work together so passengers moving from one county to another will not have to pay separate fares. This is critical for providing convenience and efficiency, which in turn produces competitiveness, alongside the automobile (Copper, 2010) As of now, MetroPlan Orlando has convinced Lynx and Votran, the bus service that will serve the DeBary station, to upgrade to the same fare technology by the time SunRail opens. Otherwise, appropriate descriptions would have to have been given on how to transfer and pay from SunRail to Lynx, and then a different description for SunRail to Votran. This new technology will allow the systems' fare collection to function in sync, and would possibly allow a system like the SmartRider card to operate in the not so distant future (Harry Barley, personal communication, March 18, 2011). For the present time, the Lynx bus system has recognized higher demand in certain areas, and is thus increasing the supply as they see fit. Most recently, the University of Central Florida, located in the northeast region of Central Florida, has started up a late night bus service on the weekends to accommodate students who prefer
!"#$%&'( # 0/ # an alternative to driving when enjoying nightlife. KnightLynx, as the bus service is called, is a partn ership between the university and the Central Florida Regional T ransportation Authority, or Lynx that gives both on and off campus students access to weekend entertainment and shopping for free with a valid student ID. The agency hopes to maintain a less than 15 mi nute wait time at each stop with service running from 8:00p.m to 3:00a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. And while this is not full service or integration of a bus and rail service, the CEO of Lynx, John Lewis, believes that this program is a pe rfect opportunity to "introduce public transit to the next generation of transit riders" (Weiner, 2011). If more students learn to use, and appreciate, the new bus service routes, they may be more inclined to use SunRail regularly once it's open. Another way to catch the younger generation is their implementation of new media to access bus schedules and frequency of services. Launched in July, 2010, the now former Lynx C EO, Linda S. Watson, introduced Quick Response (QR) codes for the bus stops which "wil l allow riders with smartphones or cellphone cameras to access schedule information at their specific stop" ("Lynx QR Codes," 2010). This is the first transit agency in the nation to adopt this kind of technology, and plans to be available at more than 5,0 00 stops. The concept of this brand new technology is to allow riders to scan the code off their bus stop sign which will then display an up to date schedule for that particular route. The goal is to eventually include "directional scheduling" as well as a display showing the precise location of the next bus and expected arrival time. This addition was a great step towards a public transport system that uses innovative technology to compose a more convenient journey for the patrons ("Lynx QR Codes," 2010).
!"#$%&'( # 00 # In 1997, Lynx introduced its own version of Perth's CAT system, where a circulatory service known as LYMMO now operates in the Orlando CBD. The frequency is in five minute headways during office hours, and ten minutes all other times. This entire service is free to riders and has its own dedicated lane throughout the business district, making it convenient and reliable for all of the patrons involved. And more recently, a federal grant allocated funds to extend the operation to Parramore, a low income nei ghborhood to the west of the downtown. This "new bus rapid transit extension effort will help eliminate the east west divide caused by the gash that Interstate 4 cuts across the city and bring increased access to education and job opportunities for residen ts in Parramore" (Barry, 2010). In the future, Lynx hopes to expand the LYMMO service as far north as Florida Hospital's main campus, located on Orange Avenue, and down south to Orlando's Health campus, which are both near SunRail stations. These extended services plan to be paid for through federal funds with the station supplying the operating costs (Copper, 2010). This service delivers a str iking resemblance to Perth's, so it is no wonder that it is a model for American downtowns to follow (East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, p. 16). For now, Lynx 's focus is attracting as many riders as possible in a region of 1.83 million people. Currently in their system, they provide 5,267 bus stops throughout all three counties, compar ed to Perth's 12,853 stops ("Lynx Fast Facts, n.d.; Public Transport Authority, 2010a ). And when it comes to discounted fares, seniors, the disabled and youth (ages 7 to 18) are able to receive discounts on their trips to encourage ridership. Most recently, though, the Lynx Board of Directors implement ed a policy that required a Lynx ID card in order to receive discounted fares. These c ards can be obtained
!"#$%&'( # 01 # at the Lynx Central Station in downtown Orlando during normal business hours. For the youth and elderly, an application a nd proof of age/identification must be provided. For people with medical disabilities, they must fill out an application and go through a certification process to prove their handicap. And despite all of this, riders must acquire these cards between Februa ry 7 th 2011 and April 24 th the day th is policy goes into effect ("Lynx Reduced Fare Story, 2011). Not only d o these ID cards discourage first time riders who might not have access to the downtown station, but this policy's process is rather difficult, especially since the discounted fares are catered to a vulnerable population. Regional Planning Regionalism in Central Florida certainly has had its ups and downs w ith regards to the commitment to alternative transportation infrastructure. Recently, w ith the excitement of a commuter rail system passing through the three major counties, local governments are encoura ged to seek assistance from their state mandated regional planning council known as East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC). And although local agencies are not obligated to take their advice into consideration, the ECFRPC 's role is to publ ish reports and enact campaigns that they feel will benefit all of Central Florida. This agency also works closely with MetroPlan Orlando to issue reports and policy suggestions that both the local municipalities and the region will support. According to P hil Laurien, the executive director of ECFRPC, the various local agencies understand the "power of good advice" (personal communication, February 14, 2011). With the help from ECFRPC, Orlando was able to accomplish a regional report similar to Perth's tit led "How Shall We Grow?" The campaign lasted 18 months and
!"#$%&'( # 02 # included nearly 20,000 Central Florida residents as they shared their visions and goals for the year 2060. Four key themes emerged as the result of this campaign : Conservation, Countryside, Centers and Corridors. Comparable to Perth, residents wanted centers that promoted specific growth throughout the region as well as corridors that "connect centers with a balance of roads, light rail, streetcars and buses planned by county transportation planner s cooperating regionally" (My Region How Shall We Grow?, 2006). Once this population was educated, it was clear the local municipalities were focusing on local issues and, instead need to be observing the broader picture and acting accordingly. N onethele ss, following this campaign a number of elected officials pledged their support for this regional vision by signing the "Central Florida Regional Growth Vision Regional Compact." In the pledge government officials agreed to consider a number of principles when implementing political legislature, including providing "a variety of transportation options" (My Region Regional Compact, 2006). And while this sounds somewhat vague, the report clearly acknowledges the public's plea for alternative transportation m odes throughout the region, making it clear to public officials that changes need to be made. One downfall of this compact is over the years, political posts change and not everyone who signed the pledge is even in office anymore. Creating a true region of networks is going to have to be a goal every politician can support, not just the ones in short term office. Thankfully, as recently as February 2011, Brandon Arrington, a County Commissioner in Osceola, stated the following at a recent workshop that incl uded an update to the county's transportation plans: "One thing that worked really well in the past...the How Shall We Grow effort really seemed to work well with the general populationhands on experience like that usually works well with public
!"#$%&'( # 03 # participa tion ("BCC Meeting," February 28 th 2011). Clearly the efforts of politicians to see a regional vision, and encouraging the public to do the same, are still in fruition for the Central Florida region. Once the regional vision is fully seen, policy changes that support regional transport initiatives will encourage a more viable service that benefits both the local and regional plans of Central Florida. Strategically Located Stations Like Perth, strong stations with high ridership tend to be located either along distributor roads or on greenfield sites that will eventually turn into TODs, if not already. Orlando is fortunate with their SunRail corridor since they're using the existing freight route that passes through several urban places, like downtown Orla ndo, Winter Park, and Kissimmee. Alternatively, the high speed rail, which is no longer receiving federal funding but, with any luck, will be built eventually, would run along the Interstate 4 corridor connecting the Orange County Convention Center with Di sney World, the town of Lakeland, and Tampa. The act of physically seeing the stations and trains is apparent, and mimics the southern rail line in Perth that has come to be so successful. In fact, the Pubic Transport Authority, in Perth, used data and str ategies from a paper written about the high speed corridor connecting Orlando to Tampa (Martinovich, personal communication, August 19, 2010). This project will have to remain on hold for the time being, but, nevertheless, trains that run along major roadw ay corridors, like I 4 has proven highly successful in attracting riders that might have otherwise taken their private motorcar. Education
!"#$%&'( # 14 # As of now, educational programs on the SunRail and bus services are not the top priority for the local governments. The media, such as the Orlando Sentinel, has been keeping resident s up to date with the progress of SunRail and any setbacks that might occur. Currently, community organizations have the ability to bring in a speaker for SunRail to brief locals on the initiatives taking place. The resources are limiting, but by exposing misperceptions now will allow more patrons to use the commuter rail once the system finally opens. Conclusion While Orlando has a clear and thoughtful vision for the future of mass transit, the region need s to start considering a range of factors that de termine competitiveness with the motorcar. Currently, the bus network accommodates a small proportion of Orlando's population, while at the same time priorities are left to expanding, adding, or maintaining roadways that are nearly always clogged or will b e in the coming years. Orlando should consider a more regional network plan where SunRai l and Lynx are all connected under the same name and the fare system is integrated to allow a more convenient transfer based network. And while Orlando is including pu blic participation into their regional vision, all the local jurisdictions, a nd the state, need to realize the benefits of regionalism and adopt policies accordingly. When these suggestions, as well as other examples from Perth, are realized, Orlando has t he possibi lity to become a global city where homeowners tourists, and businesses alike will want to flock to.
!"#$%&'( # 1+ # Chapter V Urban Form Around Rail Stations Following the implementation of buses and commuter rail, the urban form, guided by the free market, may transform to accommodate higher densities and amenities that encourage economic expansion in the region. Traditional mass transit systems operate throug hout high density, but in low urban densities, the "masses" must be brought (possibly through feeder buses) "or come to the railway in their own way the stations become the concentration points of population density" (Waldock et al., 2008). It is acceptable to have the station and transit before the urban form renovation so that "its very presence gives value and incentive to maximise [sic] the density in the walkable catchment once the station is built" (Martinovich, 2008a, p.19). Pe ter Newm an recognizes the success of urban design around Perth's stations, and acknowledges, "if you add it up, the amount of money the state government has made from development has more than paid for these rail systems" (personal communication, August 11, 2010). The u rban form also plays a significant role in increasing ridership in a suburban environment, with transit oriented development, or TODs, park n' rides, and New Urbanist principles the means of implementing the most successful design measures. Standar d TODs have a hard time developing in regions such as Perth and Orlando since they usually require close to 15,000 people within the walkable catchment, or 50 people per gross hectare. It is therefore important to note th at public transit in a low density environment "provides for and relies on patronage from outside the walkable catchment to provide the basis for early station construction and to encourage later development of the station catchment to achieve real TOD outcomes" (Martinovich,
!"#$%&'( # 1, # 2008a, p.20). This reality has sometimes resulted in an abandonment of development around stations, and the government, instead, chooses to fill the lot with park n' rides that commuters become highly dependent on. These parking bays are necessary to accommodate particu lar rider s but, nevertheless, once the stations are put in and the trains are running, the market will have a tough time convincing developers not to invest in this high real estate property (Martinovich, 2008a, p.23). Although there are a few setbacks, p rinciples from the Congress of New Urbanism also contribute to both Perth and Orlando's urban fabric, and influences the design elements that could remarkable strengthen public transportation's role in a suburban environment. There are a number of case stu dies throughout the Perth region that illustrate the importance of all three design elements, but I will only pick a few to scratch the surface of this imperative mass transit component. Transit Oriented Development Transit oriented development, or TOD, is a modern term but not a new concept. Higher density and walkable development, guided by the free market, has occurred around transit stations for the last century but is now being encouraged by the government to promote a more healthy and sustainable li festyle. The main purpose of a TOD is to provide accessibility to patrons and dissuade excessive use of the private motorcar. The implementation of TODs in suburbia, on the other hand, is a newfound tactic that certainly has its opportunities and setbacks since success depends on supplying both an origin (residential) and destination activities such as work and shopping (Curtis & Olaru, 2007, p.3). Activity nodes surrounding stations, nevertheless, have the chance to be redeveloped and expanded, or transfor m from a brownfield or greenfield site into a
!"#$%&'( # 1# setting that benefits the local community and region as a whole. According to Robert Cervero, a United States expert on TOD, and professor at the University of California in Berkeley believes there are three el ements that comprise the majority of TODs: "mixed use development; development that is close to and well served by transit; and development that is conducive to transit ridership" (Martinovich, 2008a, p.18). The demand for transit oriented development is also on the rise. According to a survey across several states conducted by the Center for Transit Oriented Development, over 14.6 million households desire living within a half mile radius of a TOD. This number is well over double the current residents li ving in TODs, letting the market know that people want to live in an environment where they can easily walk, cycle, or access transit as a preferred mode of transportation. These residents end up saving around twenty percent of their household income becau se they are able to own fewer cars (TOD residents owned an average of 0.9 cars per household versus 1.6 for households not in TOD areas). By reducing the number of cars and taking public transport instead households in the United States can save roughly $ 4,000 to $5,000 annually per household. This benefits the local economy drastically because the residents have an increase in disposable income that can be spent on urban services in their local area (Newman, Beatley, & Boyer, 2009, p.120). With developm ent around transit on the rise across the world, there are "fantastic examples of emerging transit villages" that have been developed or are in the process of being developed around Perth's rail stations (Beatley, 2008, p.25). Perth has around twenty stati ons that are either active or in the planning stages of TOD. These stations incorporate new zoning requirements that include minimal parking, "inclusion of green
!"#$%&'( # 1. # innovations," and a minimum of fifteen percent affordable housing (Newman, Beatley, & Boyer, 2 009, p.121). The market for this type of mixed use development is skyrocketing in Perth, and developers are flocking to take control and invest in these stations (Newman, Beatley, & Boyer, 2009, p.111). The local, state, and transport agencies are strongly pursuing these development patterns, calling the new approach "land use transport integration" (Curtis, 2009, p.39). To encourage more rapid TOD development, the Metro Regional Council in Perth employs a master developer for each transit corridor that nee ds TODs. The master developer submits a detailed proposal for each TOD along that particular corridor to the Metro Council who then sanctions all the approvals needed along that line. This process allows the developers to save time and money since they no longer struggle with the same "political fight every time o ver their illegality.'" Newman, Beatley, and Boyer acknowledge "TODs are an outcome that everyone wants and are in every strategic plan, but they freeze sometimes due to local misunderstandings a nd inadequate planning rules" (2009, p.145). This can be a solution to the majority of cities who still dissuade mixed use development based on outdated zoning laws and difficult permitting processes. This section presents a number of case studies in Per th that transformed their stations, either organically or planned, in to model TOD sites There are over twenty TOD sites across Perth that illustrate a commitment to redevelopment and greenfield TODs. Each of the detailed example s below offer unique lesson s learned that could be used in Orlando's design stages of what to do, and what should be prevented. Redevelopment TODs
!"#$%&'( # 1/ # Redevelopment TODs focus on an area that already has development, whether that includes typical TOD elements or not. The most well known TOD site in Perth and probably one of the most famous in Australia is located in Subiaco, one of Perth's oldest suburbs and approximately three kilometers west of the Perth CBD (Howe, Glass, & Curtis, 2009, p.65). The "Subiaco Corridor is an award winning redevelopment encompassing townhouses, apartments, parkland, commercial office, retail shopping, home office, service industry and public transport" (Hemsley, 2009, p.201). Located on the City to Fremantle line, the Subi Centro redevelo pment a rea is around 80 hectares (nearly 200 acres) and gained world recognition for being redeveloped into a "transit village" (Hemsley, 2009, p.201). The Subiaco Redevelopment Agency was formally created by an act of parliament in 1994 as a way to exem pt the area from the usual local planning conditions and requirements (Beatley, 2008, p.26). The goal was to envision "Subiaco 2000," a concept of mixed use redevelopment in an abandoned industrial site that also included the grand achievement of lowering the Transperth railway underground. The city engaged the public as active participants for nearly two years and used the Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy at Murdoch University to develop the comprehensive plans (Howe, Glass, & Curtis, 200 9, p.67). Over half a billion dollars was invested by the private sector (Curtis, 2009, p.201) and Australia's Building Better Cities program was able to fund the sinking of the rail system. This nation wide program believed the underground station would a llow for a more compact and intensive land use infrastructure above and around the station (Beatley, 2008, p.26).
!"#$%&'( # 10 # What resulted from this proposal was a "relatively dense new urban neighborhood," with the creation of "housing for two thousand new resident s, three to four thousands jobs, and eighty thousand square meters of commercial retail" (Beatley, 2009, p.25). And although there was already an existing railway, the new underground station was integrated into the public space and urban area which allowe d the station patronage to nearly triple following the construction's completion in 1999. The station also allowed a full service grocery store, and other amenities, such as a children's play area, neighborhood commons, and a promenade with stores that mig ht not have been supported by the previous suburban population. The redevelopment area was able to create its own space that complemented the existing city of Subiaco nicely, a point every TOD should take into consideration. As stated in Transit Oriented D evelopment: Making it Happen Curtis believes "one important aspect [for Subi Centro] was the recognition that not every new TOD should compete with the existing urban structure; rather it should find its niche" (Howe, Glass, & Curtis, 2009, p.68). The Sub iaco Redevelopment Authority recognized this niche, and was able to transform this old industrial site into an area that supported the local area and the entire region of Subiaco. Figure 5.1: Subiaco Master Plan Source: Australian Council of Ne w Urbanism
!"#$%&'( # 11 # Yet despite the efforts to engage the public, there was a tremendous amount of NIMBYism in the beginning brought on from both the current residents and business owners in the surrounding areas. They were skeptical about the proposed redevelop ment plans, and believed any change in the area would not be to their benefit. In the end, the opposite occurred. "Far from being the imagined threat to the established businesses, it has enlarged the commercial cake. The old and the new have created a syn ergy that has been to each other's benefit. This has had a spill over effect in raising property values and rents; this is an important measure of success." The Subi Centro even exceeded its financial expectations, moving from being self funding to actuall y making a healthy profit for both the State and the Council's investments (Howe, Glass, & Curtis, 2009, p.70 1). To top it all off, the State Government required a target of 15% affordable housing in the new site as well as five hectares of "high quality parkland" that connects the project area from the east to the west, and links with the Perth Bicycle Net work (Australian New Urbanism, p.111). One factor Jake Schapper, an urban designer at the town pl anning firm RobertsDay, believes played a crucial role in the use of alternative modes was Subi's stance on parking. The redevelopment authority discouraged commuter parking in the area by allowing the first hour free, then charging for prices at a much higher rate. This permitted close parking bays for people needing to run quick errands into the shops, but dissuaded employees from parking in the nearby bays since their fee would be extraordinary high after a day's work. There was little backlash to this proposal, and instead more locals chose other modes such as walking and biking, and residents living
!"#$%&'( # 12 # farther away took a convenient train in to enjoy their time in Subi Centro (Jake Schapper, personal communication, August 13 th 2010). Another station that already had significant development was located at the Maylands. The Maylands Station is situated on the Midland train line, which was the first c ommuter rail line in Perth. This case study differs from Subiaco because the area around the site has notoriously been known as a poverty stricken area, and as a result, higher crime is often present. Social housing is located within walking distance of the station as well as bars and pubs in a shopping plaza type atmosphere. Because of these factors, lots of guards are usually present at the station with twelve security cameras surrounding the site (Public Transport Authority, 2010h ). The Department of Planning, with collaboration from the The Planning Group (TPG), decided to revitalize the wa lkable catchment area to accommodate a more mixed use environment. The plans would increase density and produce a grid like pattern leading to the public housing And even though not all the housing was within the walkable radius, the grid pattern made wal king to the sta tion much easier (Jake Sch apper, personal communication, August 13 th 2010). TPG's project was to involve "the integration of the retail, commercial, civic and recreational uses and the reinstatement of main street principles" ("Maylands Ac tivity Center," 2010). This beautification resulted in gentrification and can be considered either a positive or
!"#$%&'( # 13 # negative by product of this kind of development. Fortunately, throughout the process TPG engaged the public in the planning process which resu lted in "strong community support for the vision for the area" ("Maylands Activity Center," 2010). This development would be considered a success story with the implementation of TOD principles, and the only setback would be incorporating public housing so they too can enjoy the benefits of a truly mixed use development around transit. Figure 5.3: Maylands Station Source: Transperth Greenfield TODs Greenfield sites are situated in an area previously undeveloped, so there is typically much more potential for TOD principles. The reason for hesitation when it comes to greenfield sites surrounding a station is there will be low patronage until the development is complete. Most of these case studies are still in the construction stages, well after th e rail corridor has already opened. If the development was constructed prior
!"#$%&'( # 24 # to a rail line's opening, the developer might have issues claiming to potential residents that the area is a TOD before the transit. The hope is once that station is active, newco mers will flock to the development with the guarantee transit will be available once they move in. Greenfield sites are a risk, and some of Perth's sites have certainly struggled at getting projects from the design phase and into the actual construction ph ase. Cockburn Central is an exciting new development taking place along the Southern railway corridor. Since this line runs along the freeway for most of its trip, this station offers a unique additional for the southern suburbs. Still in the early phases the town center development will host nearly 40,000 sqm of commercial and retail space, as well as construct over 1,000 new homes for residents. The entirety of Cockburn Central will be strategically located on 42 hectares, with the town center on 12 hec tares directly to the west of the Cockburn Central train station. Following the completion of this development, the greater Cockburn region hopes to have nearly 190,000 residents; all benefitting from these new services and facilities, including an "integr ated transport system, residential options, shops, government and commercial services and sporting and recreational facilities" ("Cockburn Central FAQs," n.d.). There was some debate in regards to locating the town center directly adjacent the rail station but after identifying the best opportunities for investment and development, the view was accepted and a true TOD began to take shape (Martinovich, 2008a, p. 19 20). Despite the tremendous opportunities presented for this new site, the location still s truggles with a few obstacles. Because Cockburn Central is situated only 15 minutes from the Perth CBD (by transit), the rail station competes heavily with the freeway as opposed to more outlying stations. This has resulted in a compromise, and the precinc t
!"#$%&'( # 2+ # provides high car access (414 park n' ride car bays and roughly 928 car parks used for the commercial development). The developers view the parking around the site as transitional space seeing the space only as temporary until future development takes s hape (Jake Schapper, personal communication, August 13 th 2010). The neighborhood is also known for their suburban lifestyle, and a couple big box shopping centers are located close by (Curtis & Olaru, 2007, p.5 6). In spite of these barriers, Cockburn Cen tral has still managed to incorporate true TOD principles, which makes for a successful compromise that will probably be replicated in many suburban developments that offer transit. Figure 5.4: Cockburn Regional Centre Source: City of Cockburn A unique initiative for the Cockburn Central TOD was the involvement of local university students to help with the project. As part of a study exercise at Curtin University, the third year urban and regional planning students dev eloped a "Cockburn
!"#$%&'( # 2, # Public Transport Options Study" and a "Cockburn Public Transport Community Forum" to gauge interest and provide information for the surrounding suburbs in Cockburn Central. This project allowed students to gain an understanding for publi c participation that will surely assist them as they become profession al planners. The Cockburn City Council also responded positively to the proposed study, and agreed to support the study as they plan the future of Cockburn 's transport commitments ("Cock burn," 2010). The Village of Wellard is another greenfield site located on the Southern Rail Line and away from the Kwinana Freeway. Developed by Peet Limited in the Town of Kwinana, the Village of Wellard aims to implement Cervero's TOD principles by all owing land development integration with "public transport systems and strategies, with the town centre being developed around the transit system" (Hemsley, 2009, p.205). The location is around 34 kilometers from the Perth CBD and is in efficient access to the towns of Rockingham and Mandurah. The station and bus interchange are also conveniently located at the heart of the commercial and residential development (Hemsley, 2009, p.204 ). This village complements the existing suburban landscape, and allows bran d new facilities to cater to the existing Wellard suburbs as well as the incoming residents. The southern rail corridor is developing at a rapid pace, and the Village of Wellard has already planned 2,700 residential lots, new educational facilities, and a "commercial village centre," all within a grand mixed use development. The highest densities will be located within 400 meters of the rail station, and will slowly decrease as the lots move farther and farther from the station's walkable catchment. The str eet network is designed to promote a high quality pedestrian environment with a "Main Street" atmosphere as
!"#$%&'( # 2# you leave the station (Curtis & Olaru, 2007, p.4). This project is a great example of a greenfield's station commitment to TOD principles, and how t his new development can benefit not only the new site, but the surrounding suburbs as well. Figure 5.5: Wellard Village Centre: Design Guidelines Source: The Village at Wellard Somerly is a new development growing adjacent to the Clarkson rail station, located on the Northern Suburbs line and 35 minutes from the Perth CBD. This case study offers a walkable development near transit at an affordable rate. Based on Western Australia Planning Commission's Livable Neighborhoods principles, the town center is integrated with the train station and bus interchange to enhance the town's commitment of walkability and public transit (Hemsley, 2009, p.202). The Ocean Keys Boulevard offers a m ixed use center that extends from the station's site and continues pass the town center into the residential neighborhoods. And only a couple kilometers from the beach,
!"#$%&'( # 2. # the "Somerly Town Centre, integrated with the bus and train station, will be the focal point for a dynamic community, where people can enjoy the convenience of local shops, library and schools and take time to relax in the cafes, restaurants or landscaped parklands throughout Somerly" ("Australian New Urbanism," p.110). This neighborhood is also a cutting edge example of "affordable residential estate" based on new and innovative approaches that provides housing for all types of incomes ("Somerly," n.d.). This is a wonderful example of how transit oriented development, and master planned comm unities, do not have to only be for the wealthy. Park N' Rides A Park and Ride is defined as "off street car parking provided for the use of commuters by public transport operators" and cater s to a different audience than the residents of a TOD (Shunter, 2010) Dating back to the 1960s, park n' rides became an important part of the "balanced transport" compromise as a result of the rise in the automobile. The idea was "instead of driving all the way to the centre of congested cities, suburban commuters we re encouraged to drive to rail or bus stations and board express services bound for the centre" (Mees, 2010a, p.174). This allowed the CBDs to accommodate visitors without the high influx in parked vehicles. Other incentives such as free parking at the sta tions also strongly encouraged this public transport/ automobile compromise. Are park n' rides essential for suburban public transport? There are numerous conflicting views with the argument, which has resulted in a divided landscape in Perth and possibly Orlando too. According to Peter Martinovich, Director of Planning for the PTA "the reality is that the car park is symptomatic of the broader catchment density the
!"#$%&'( # 2/ # railway was built to serve" (Martinovich, 2008a, p.19). In other words, in order for rail to survive in low density, there must be an abundance of parking bays around the site to accommodate the riders outside the walkable catchment. Hamer (2010, p.52) agrees with Martinovich, and argues park n' rides are fundamental for increasing the walkable catchment of high capacity services, especially heavy rail, that are located in the suburbs or city edges. Critics argue that p ark n' rides ca nnot be the only solution In this day and age, not every commuter is heading into the CBD, and a nonwalkable pa rk n' ride as a destination is a disincentive for a commuter. Park n' rides also do not provide a real alternative to the automobile, and will not move us "beyond the automobile age." And while park n' rides usually fill up by 8:00am on a weekday morning, they are rarely used for traveling during off peak times which wastes valuable space on a land that could have been heavily invested in as a TOD. One other shortcoming of park n' rides is the potential for excessive pollution created when driving to the st ation. Since the drive is typically short, Mees argues the cold engine may produce just as much pollution as if the driver continued to their final destination. This is why feeder buses, and proper walkability and cycling planning, must still contribute in the success of transportation in the suburbs. Riders will still park at the stations, but Mees firmly believes that "the best place for public transport users to leave their cars is at home" (Mees, 2010a, p.175). Nevertheless, park n' rides have become the norm in many rail stations surrounding suburbia. The goal is to incorporate TOD principles into the layout of the site, so not to waste the space entirely on parking bays. Perth has suffered some setbacks with this, and some stations just continue to e xpand their parking bays until the entire
!"#$%&'( # 20 # walkable radius is a sea of parked cars. Government officials and planners are witnessing damaging effects to these expansions, and are purposely planning stations that now incorporate parking that sustains the cur rent ridership while also creating investment projects like TODs, for the future. Martinovich believes the system has to mature, and development, like in Perth, will organically form that accommodates both the walkable catchment and the existing riders o utside that radius. The implementation of park n' rides throughout the suburbs, Martinovich remarks was not a simple decision in Perth, and nume rous factors had to be considered. What we found, initially, is in order to justify the station, we can not do without the population that lives outside the walking distancenow, as your city and as your system matures, you should be trying to increase the urban densities between the walkable catch mentyou should have at least double what we have now. Now we're trying to do that in new areas but that doesn't mean that you can disregard your existing customers who come from beyond the walkable catchment that are outside the walkable catchment. You have to treat park n' ride in that context (Martinovich, personal communication, August 19 th 2010). Transport planners cannot ignore the existing customers using the system. The idea of maturity is the basis of the density and public transport debate as it relates to urban form. These systems can survive, and be successful, once you consider ridership beyond the walkable catchment. If park n' rides make it more convenient for commuters who would otherwis e drive the entire commute, then maybe park n' rides are what need to be in place for the time being until the system develops and matures as time passes. And with regards to suburban transportation, especially in a society that is already highly depende nt on the motorcar, the freedom to choose is imperative. Martinovich has acknowledged this argument and firmly believes in the value of choice. He states, "We
!"#$%&'( # 21 # cannot provide, in a low density urban environment, the frequency of bus service, that's going to give the convenience of the rail service. Therefore, you should allow people the freedom to get to the rail service by whatever means as they can. And the car might be one" (Martinovich, personal communication, August 19 th 2010). He also readily acknowle dges that the park n' ride journey has increasingly become no t a "single focus journey Instead, multiple focus journeys for commuters include those short car trip to partake in other activities, such as shopping, picking kids up at the day care, or running to the grocery store; tasks that may not want to be completed on a bus after a long day at work. When park n' rides are viewed from this lens, the y are no longer viewed as a "wasteful use of a resource" (Martinovich, personal communication, August 19 th 2010). In the end, developers, when given the choice, will want to develop and invest in the land surrounding the stations. Neverthele ss, Martinov ich must remind those in Perth to always consider the existing riders. You can look at the park n' ride land as land banking. So what you can do as your system develops, what my advice has been and I prevailed in it, is tha t we will not reduce our car parking in the long term. We are quite prepared to see the car park integrated into the development above itin fact we've had offers already to increase the size of our car parks in return for th e rights to develop above them. So its not a matter of doing away of park n' ride, it's a case of accommodating those people that will always live beyond the walkable catchment but trying to do everything we can to increase the numbers who are going to within the walking distance by dramatically increasing the densities over the longer term. Now that might take many years to achieve, but you know, rail systems are there for the long haul. So that's how I see park n' ride (Martinovich, personal communication, August 19 th 2010). This is the way to view park n' rides in the suburbs. Calling them a necessary evil may not be far off, but the rea lization is that in order to receive a cost effective ridership, parking bays will always be a component to make that vision a reality. The goal,
!"#$%&'( # 22 # however, is t he integration of high density and TOD principles, with the parking bays, to create an environmen t that both the walkable catchment and outside catchment can enjoy. As of 2008, Perth had a total of over 15,000 parking bays at their stations. These took the form of either "traditional open' free car parking bays, more secure Lock and Ride' free car parking bays and secure Pay and Display' car parking bays" where users can use their SmartRider card and pay $2.00 a day to park (Shunter, 2010). In spite of these multiple options, Transperth has fought hard to retain small (roughly three hectare) sites for their park n' rides that will reach out to the regional nonwalkable catchment (Martinovich, 2008a p.27). Below are a few case studies of stations in Perth that highlight some major components of a successful park n' ride, such as locating at a major a rterial intersection and a high use of feeder buses. Most of the case studies in this region have successfully implemented a park n' ri de to the best of their ability, but some have fallen prey to a land of asphalt. Orlando, still in the early stages of de signs for their stations, also has a number of park n' rides that with a little help and advice, could transform into the compromise Martinovich believes is the key to urban form around rail stations. Major Arterial Intersections Bull Creek Station is l ocated on the new southern rail line and is strategically located along the freeway to accommodate commuters beginning their journey in the automobile. The station is situated at a high traffic interchange, with the train running along the Kwinana Freeway as the road connects to Leach Highway, a primary distributer road. Since there is a very low catchment of riders at a highway interchange, in order to gain the appropriate ridership, the station has a high volume of car access (610 parking
!"#$%&'( # 23 # bays) surroundin g the site. The station is also situated around the off ramps with little land in between, "effectively constraining the opportunity for development of a pedestrian scale precinct within close proximity of the station" (Curtis & Olaru, 2007, p. 4). The str ength of Bull Creek's station, though, is their high frequency feeder bus service, catering to the surrounding suburbs along the distributor road. The bus interchange is located on the concourse level of Leach Highway, with the rail station located in the median below. For now, the site fails to exhibit adequate TOD principles, but makes up for it through the high ridership of passengers that may have driven in their private automobile if they were not offered a convenient alternative. Figure 5.6: Bull Cre ek Station Source: Transperth Feeder Buses as a Key Element The Murdoch Station is located around 14 kilometers from the Perth CBD. On average, along the Mandurah line, roughly 40% come from bus and 49% arrive by the
!"#$%&'( # 34 # motorcar. The Murdoch station offers a slightly different percentage with 57% arriving by bus and only 38% by private autom obile. Nonetheless, the station is overrun by park n' ride bays in the walkable catchment, yet there never seems to be enough. There are about 1,100 bays surroundi ng the site yet almost every single one is filled by 8:30a.m. on a weekday morning (Martinovich, 2008a, p.17). Clearly this is a station for commuters, so Transperth questioned how they were able to accommodate passengers who were unable to find a parking spot in time. The reality is that the more parking bays built, the more single occupied vehicles would flock to the station early in the morning Murdoch reached the point where they could no longer support parking bay construction, and instead chose to in crease bus services. Transperth's feeder buses reached a higher frequency when they noticed the demand and are performing exceptionally well to get riders to the station (Martinovich, 2008a, p.23). This lesson shows us that park n' rides may be necessary, but only to a certain extent. Feeder buses cannot be overlooked as a means of reaching the demand for ridership, especially when residents are willing to make the switchover from the automobile to a complete public transit commute. Figure 5.7: Murdoch Sta tion
!"#$%&'( # 3+ # Source: Transperth Inappropriate "Park n' Ride" McIver Station would not be considered a traditional park n' ride lot. Situated close to the Perth CBD, this station's main purpose is catering to the Royal Perth Hospital, one of the main hospi tals in the Perth region. This site could be ripe for redevelopment and walkability, providing an easy and convenient access route to the hospital's main entrance. Instead, the station's access to the popular employment center is blocked by a multi story c ar park, blighting the area as soon as riders step off the train. The car park is even situated at an angle and completely disregards its orientation of the surrounding buildings. This is a poor example of station / parking lot compatibility, since those needing to get to the hospital or the surrounding area have easy access to the car park that completely blocks the station's presence. It is important to understand that car parking at a station, especially when it's free, complements the station's ridersh ip, not discourages it. In the end, this station's location ha s attracted a particular blight scene (Jake Sch apper, personal communication, August 13 th 2010), with o ne blogger on a Perth Public Transit thread even likened the area to a "red light district ( SkyScraperCity, 2007 ). The site is ripe for redevelopment, but poor urban design, thanks to the large parking garage, has created an environment that strongly discourages any form of daily activity. This further dissuades non automobile modes of transpo rtation for the causal dweller in that section of the city.
!"#$%&'( # 3, # Figure 5.8: McIver Station Source: Transperth New Urbanism New Urbanist principles have shaped both the Perth and Orlando landscape over the past couple of decades. The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) which is the key organization that endorses New Urbanist principles, oversees the promotion of "walkable, mixed use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions" ("Who is CNU?," 2010). This movem ent relates to urban form and transportation issues by directly stating in their Charter, "We [CNU] advocate the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principlescommunities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car" ( Congress for the New Urbanism, 2001). Too frequently, conventional urban designers draft their projects in relation to the automobile, not people, which limits pedestrian mobility and access to alternative modes. Alternatively, CNU encourages
!"#$%&'( # 3# development that adheres to multiple modes, a strategy that is essential when designing layouts around rail stations. In fact, Eliza Harris, the Orlando representative for the Congress For New Urbanism, Florida Chapter, believ es, "Great New Urbanist places (on the higher density end) are TOD. There's not really much to TOD beyond that" (personal communication, March 15 th 2011). There's clearly a "thin line" between New Urbanism and transit oriented development, but the key to remember is providing amenities, uses, and an environment that can be enjoyed whether one is a pedestrian, driver, or transit rider. Perth has had a roller coaster experience when it comes to implementing truly successful new urbanist projects. And altho ugh there is a strong presence and knowledge of New Urbanism in the region (the Australian Council for New Urbanism is very active) there still lies some skepticism by town planners and government officials. In 1997, the WA Planning Commission published th e first edition of Liveable Neighbourhoods Code a remarkable step forward in providing an optional code for urban extensions. This design code draws on "new urbanism and uses this walkable neighbourhood [sic] (400m diameter or 800m diameter depending on t he attraction of land use) as its structuring device in the planning of new development [and is] applied in the consideration of station precincts" (Curtis & Olaru, 2007, p.2). Projects across the state began adopting this code as an alternative form to sp rawl. Revised editions were published in 2001 and 2004, and this statewide code even received the 2001 CNU Charter Award. Liveable Neighbourhoods proposes community design codes that parallel CNU's vision of walkability and connectivity between the streets and multiple modes of transportation. These guidelines are strongly encouraged for any new WA development, and have had a
!"#$%&'( # 3. # tremendous impact on reducing the typical sprawling suburbs that were once the only option for Perth (Jones, 2006). This publication, as well as other initiatives, displays Perth's commitment to a more progressive form of urbanism, a commitment that is also gaining momentum in Orlando as they are given the chance to design with more than the automobile in mind. Subi Centro, an internati onally recognized model for TOD, supports "high quality public spaces" as well as redevelopment and integrated their railway station with both the urban area and public space. In turn, "at the macro level Subi Centro can be considered a model for new urba nist' development" (Howe, Glass, & Curtis, 2009, p.70). Similarly, a well known urban design firm, RobertsDay, who has offices in Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne, strongly advocate new urbanist principles in each and every one of their proposals. With walkabl e, neo traditional developments scattered throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Dubai, RobertsDay is certainly at the forefront of the new urbanist movement outside the United States. Their most renowned development in Western Australia is Ellenbrook, lo cated 35 minutes northeast of the Perth CBD. Known as "Australia's most awarded new town," ("Cities & Regions, Ellenbrook," 2010), the planning stages began in 1991 and the development continues to expand to this day. Since the very beginning, Ellenbrook s trongly advocated community planning and a "well developed sense of community," which are now two of the most important factors when residents buy in the town ("Ellenbrook," n.d.). Today, Ellenbrook is home to over 15,000 residents, and offers an abundance of amenities in their pedestrian friendly town square, including schools, recreational facilities, restaurant and food outlets, facilities and shops, and commercial
!"#$%&'( # 3/ # services. They've even formed the Ellenbrook Cultural Foundation after various successful public art initiatives by local artists ("Cities & Regions, Ellenbrook," 2010). These commercial and community amenities encompass everything a resident needs to live out a more sustainable lifestyle, all within a walkable distance from the home. Figure 5.9: Aer ial View of Ellenbrook Source : RobertsDay Regrettably, Ellenbrook has a few flaws. Located on the fridge of Perth's urban area, the site is highly disconnected from the city of Perth and the region. Initially, transit did not play a major role i n the development and adding a light rail line has proven difficult in the aftermath of the project's creation. The assumption was that this affluent neighborhood would not benefit from a commuter rail line into the city but this has now become a major dow nfall of the development (Jake Schapper, personal communication, August 13 th 2010). The decision to add a new line was even a key election topic in the 2008 Western Australia elections, where both the liberal and labor party pledged a new rail line for E llenbrook. During the elections, the labor party announced a AU$850 million investment for the new rail line, while the liberal candidate, Colin Barnett, pledged the same amount while also trying to complete the project by 2015. Barnett won the
!"#$%&'( # 30 # premiership but then backed down on his promise because the "17,000 population" was too low to support rail. Rita Saffioti, a member of the WA legislature assembly for West Swan, where Ellenbrook is located, stated in response, "The Premier's estimated population is incorrect when you take into account the whole Ellenbrook areaThe current population of Ellenbrook and its neighbouring [sic] suburbs is over 25,000 and the Premier forgets to mention the population throughout the north eastern corridor that a rail line to Ellenbrook would serve" ("Premier Walks Away," 2010). This topic, for a rail line to pass through the northeast region, has been a stressful endeavor for the government and transport planners, with no end in sight. As a compromise for the r esidents of E llenbrook, there are now two express bus services that go directly from the town to nearest train station (Bassendean) and bus station (Morley). In mid 2010, the Liberal National Government announced the Ellenbrook High Frequency Service, which would depar t every 10 minutes during peak periods, and 15 minutes during non peak times (currently, the Transperth website has the services listed as 20 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively). These feeder services will be the first time Ellenbrook North and Coolamon East (both part of Ellenbrook) are served regularly by public transport, bringing a service increase of 44% to the area. Transport Minister Simon O'Brien believes this is only the start of transportation commitments to the area, with further investment tak ing place as the State Budget allows. And while this is not nearly as efficient as a train, the government is trying to accommodate the residents' high demand of multiple transportation mode choices just like everyone else in the Perth region ("Enhanced Bu s Service for Ellenbrook," 2010).
!"#$%&'( # 31 # In spite of all this, the RobertsDay website continues to assert that Ellenbrook "is proof that, if configured property and combined with the right strategies, urban development can improve liveability over time" ("Cities & Regions, Ellenbrook," 2010). As Australia's most award winning community, is it any wonder why transit was not included in the plans from the beginning? New Urbanist principles firmly believe a transit component is essential in any new development so as to completely rid ourselves from automobile dependence. We should applaud Ellenbrook's work toward a more sustainable lifestyle, and use their mistakes as learning tools for future neo traditional development that aspire to build their towns on the fridge The Ellenbrook paradox offers an important case study for new urbanism development, especially in Orlando. The world renowned New Urbanist community of Celebration is located on the edge of Osceola County, the region farthest south of the Central Flori da metropolitan area. Celebration is an achievement in the new urbanist movement, and provides a walkable, cyclable, mixed use development for over 10,000 residents. Their transit, however, is significantly lacking. As of now, the Lynx bus services does no t even come inside the development. Instead, the assumption is people of that salary will not want to ride transit. Currently, neither phase of SunRail will have a station close to Celebration, but if future rail corridors are implemented, Celebration, whi ch is right next to Disney World, will have a rail station. I hope the lessons learned in Ellenbrook will convince planners that every development, by the end of it, will want transit, especially a community that already values a more sustainable lifestyle Conclusion The point of these examples is that the urban form can, and will, take shape
!"#$%&'( # 32 # following the success of public transit. These unique communities offer new residents a change in lifestyle, one that includes walkability, cycling, and public transit for the maj ority of their trips. Orlando could find a lot of strengths and weaknesses in these TOD and New Urbanist principles. Park n' rides, tried in nearly every commuter rail system, can be used as a strength in the system, so long as feeder buses are not given t he back seat. When it comes to transit oriented development, the well established Winter Park Station is the perfect organic TOD on the SunRail line. The station is located near Park Avenue, a gorgeous shopping and dining district that is well known for their walkability and mixed use commercial and residential developments. Although the site needs little redevelopment, the station could gain a lot of insight from Subi Centro, an organic TOD that was made even better. By creating urban design elements th at integrate the station with the parks and retail, the local economy will significantly grow, as well as encourage the residents nearby to use the commuter rail station more frequently.
!"#$%&'( # 33 # Another future TOD option that is currently being tested in Perth i s "bus based transit" oriented development along the major bus routes (Curtis, 2009, p.39). Initially I hesitated with this option since bus routes change and it may prove difficult to gain investors for the development. However, Peter Martinovich believes the ridership will increase exponentially if development grows around all the transport opportunities, not just the stations. Martinovich looks into the future and hopes this will be the new way of approaching TODs for new areas in the suburbs: [We want to] develop in the low density areas between stations, dedicated activity routes along which the bus travelsI'm talking about the bus that feeds the new area, the suburban rail system, making sure you identify a pri nciple route between the two stations and concentrating development 100 meters on either side of that route so you get the maximum return for that bus trip. You expose that bus to as many people as you can (personal communicat ion, August 19 th 2010). Carey Curtis, professor at Curtin University of Technology, in Perth, agrees with this type of development as a means of increasing density in certain areas once the primary routes are established. The point of this argument is th at development and appropriate density can occur following the implementation of the bus and railway. The idea has always been a chicken and egg story, but with proper transport policy, the urban form can successfully develop as a means to accommodate the demand that will surely form following the public transport's opening
!"#$%&'( # +44 # Chapter VI Making the Commitment to Multi Modal Transportation in the Suburbs Throughout this thesis, the main focus has been on implementing a mass transit service in the suburbs that is both competitive with the automobile and functions on behalf of commuters and tourists alike. This thesis has no intention of completely disregard ing the private motorcar in a low density environment, especially since life in the suburbs will always have an automobile component. Instead, the purpose is to offer a multi modal solution, where individuals can choose between various transportation optio ns that they long perceived were impossible. It is time that the United States starts looking to the world for advice on sustainability and environmental awareness. And while Europe has a fantastic transportation system, we need to understand that we do n ot have the same land use patterns and politics as Europe, and instead need to look to our sister country, Australia, for guidance on improving our system without compromising the land use our country has come to rely on. By executing strategies and polici es from Perth, Australia, Orlando, among other low density environments, have the ability to compete in a global market as a truly innovative twenty first century city. For Orlando, Florida to be as competitive as Perth, the main focus needs to be placed on convenience and efficiency for the rider. The key audience for Orlando's mass transit system is commuters and tourists. Commuters will soon learn the added benefits of taking the train into work, and enjoy a hassle free ride throughout the week. The am ount of tourism in Orlando, though, is unique. Perth sustains such a strong ridership through their commuters, but Orlando's system has an advantage because it will be marketed to
!"#$%&'( # +4+ # so many foreigners. Over 50,000 rented vehicles are on Orlando's roadways ev ery single day; driving to tourist destinations all over the region in an environment they're typically unfamiliar with. If only a small portion of these rented vehicles would switchover and use the new and improved public transport service that would make a huge difference for our clogged roadways. Changes like this need to start happening in Orlando in order to sustain a level of service that competes with other global cities. In particular, Orlando must find a way to integrate their bus network, Lynx, with the new commuter rail. Perth has had tremendous success by labeling their entire system "Transperth" despite the involvement of numerous public and private partnerships throughout the region. If commuters have trouble transferring or paying multi fare s on their daily commute, they will be turned off and return to their automobile. By allowing the entire system to fall under one label, Orlando will be able to integrate timetables and fares more effectively, which will encourage use on the feeder buses n etwork throughout the journey. The value of an integrated system is immense, and certainly played a major factor in Perth's success. And once the system grows and matures, education programs, like TravelSmart, must be available to expose the misconceptio ns of transit and the automobile. High density city dwellers already understand the value of transit in their region, but suburban residents will be unfamiliar with this newfound service and will require an introduction. TravelSmart, when executed correctl y, like in Perth, will be cost effective and reliable at convincing the ridership that is "on the fence." The urban form around stations will take time. As Perth has learned, sometimes transit oriented development is the key to revitalizing an area and b oost economic
!"#$%&'( # +4, # growth, while other times a park n' ride just makes sense. In the suburbs, a transport planner's goal is to bring the ridership to the stations to increase catchment, and this should be done by any means possible. Orlando has very similar pla nned stations that resemble Perth's, and could learn a lot from their strengths and weaknesses. Stations such as Winter Park and Osceola Corporate Center will thrive as TODs, while others will function as park n' rides. The point is to never forget the rid ership outside the walkable catchment, which means feeder buses and parking bays are integral pieces to the station's success. In the end, transport policies play a key role, but the mentality of the planners and users must be changed. At first Perth he sitated and feared density was too low and incompatible with rail, but attitudes changed which made a world of difference. If planners continue to assume density is the major hindrance, truly effective policies may never be considered. Peter Martinovich pr esents an analogy regarding our constant obsession with roadway expansions: "[The] train is never going to work if you keep providing the road space. Because if I give you an assignment, and if I give you five days, of if I give you 50 days, you will fill that time. If I give any road capacity, it will be filled." We cannot continue funding roads like it's the only option, and once we believe change can occur, significant accomplishments, such as Perth's rail network, will follow. High density cities sho uld not be the only areas with mobility options. One day in the not so distant future, low density cities will hit a tipping point where their must revisit transportation alternatives to combat their automobile dependency. Public transportation in the subu rbs provides an alternative for that future, and when population
!"#$%&'( # +4# growth and development soar in the coming years, Perth will be prepared to meet that demand and the United States should not be far behind.
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