Infrastructure Australia – tackling future Adelaide traffic congestion

The daily cost of traffic congestion in Adelaide expected to almost double in next 12 years – Infrastructure Australia suggests the solution could be as simple as expanding the bus network instead of building more tram lines.

BusSA commentary: This is the right answer, public transport (PT) works best when integrated and feeding frequent trunk routes. PT use across Adelaide is forecast to grow by almost a third by 2031. An expanded bus network would benefit all. Posted Twitter 14/08/19

Jade Gailberger, Federal Political Reporter
The following notes are paraphrased from the original article.

An Infrastructure Australia audit released on 13/08/19 says the daily cost of congestion in Adelaide – including lost productivity – is expected to almost double to $7.6 million in the next 12 years.

The audit states that:

  • public transport use across Adelaide is forecast
    to grow by almost a third from 2016 levels by 2031, influenced by increased
    time and costs of car travel
  • car trips also expected to increase by 24 per
    cent by 2031
  • traffic congestion will cause delays to buses
  • it will take longer to get to jobs by public
    transport (for residents in outer suburbs that are not serviced by rail).

Quotes from Peter Colacino, Infrastructure Australia’s
executive director of policy and research:

  • Much of Adelaide growth would occur in the
    middle band of suburbs – rather than the inner-city – which were better
    serviced by bus networks than expensive tram lines.
  • Investments in stops, stations and interchanges,
    as well as clear ways and traffic light prioritisation can all make a bus
    perform just like a tram in terms of travel times.

Adelaide’s busiest roads are expected to remain:

  • Fullarton Road
  • Goodwood Road
  • Glynburn Road
  • Magill Road
  • Lower North East Road/Payneham Road corridor

Other key points from the article:

  • Public transport use is forecast to grow by 31 per cent, but car trips will also increase be 24 per cent.
  • A trip to reach childcare services, public primary and secondary schools is expected to increase by one minute to a seven-minute commute by 2031 for residents in Adelaide.
  • But if you were to use public transport, travel times will average just under 30 minutes for childcare and primary schools, and more than 30 minutes for secondary schools.
  • Increased use of car and ride-sharing could add to road congestion.
  • Congestion of Adelaide’s road network will also disrupt how the city functions by delaying commercial vehicles.
  • Some bus routes are expected to become busy in growth areas between Elizabeth, Tea Tree Gully and Salisbury. Routes feeding the O-Bahn are also expected to experience moderate levels of crowding.
  • Usage is forecast to increase, particularly on rail lines linking the outer suburbs in the north and south with the city centre.
  • The majority of the Gawler Line, as well as parts of the Seaford and Tonsley lines, will be operating well above seated capacity, but below “crush capacity”, during the morning peak.
  • Catching public transport to hospitals and education facilities will remain “less attractive” for most of greater Adelaide due to the radial nature of the network.

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