In 2018, the City of Port Phillip sought consultation on its Future Streets: Integrated Transport Strategy. The City of Port Phillip is growing, with its population expected to increase 25 per cent by 2028. Over the coming years, residents of the City of Port Phillip will increasingly feel the effects of this growth on their streets; with increased competition for on-street car parks, public transport, spaces for people to socialise and exchange goods. In response to their call for feedback, ITS Australia prepared the following submission.
We appreciate the opportunity for ITS Australia to make a submission to this important consultation for the City of Port Phillip on the challenges and opportunities which technology will bring to the transport sector and wider community in the coming years. This matter is of course of material interest to our members and we are pleased to offer the following submission for consideration.
There’s much discussion these days about once-in-a-generation change; digital disruption, major demographic and societal shifts, and mega-projects offering improvements unimagined by our grandparents or sometimes even parents. What has not been seen before though is the kind of unprecedented potential for change in transport we are currently experiencing.
In undertaking a research project into Mobility as a Service in Australia, ITS Australia conducted interviews with more than 80 leaders in the transport and technology sectors, across government, industry and academia and a strong theme emerged; that not since the mass-production of private vehicles c1920 has there been such potential for revolutionary change in the transport sector.
Transport innovation like ‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS) offers the potential to drastically improve customer choices, reduce travel costs, increase network capacity and transport sustainability while improving social and environmental outcomes.
While the mass-production of private vehicles obviously had a stunning impact on society and the built environment, the advent of connected and automated vehicles and other revolutionary technologies offer the potential for even greater levels of disruption.
Concepts like MaaS and evolving our transport networks are ways we can adapt to and positively leverage societal and technological disruption.
A key consideration that was agreed across experts interviewed was the need for collaboration and cross-jurisdictional standards and policy frameworks.
A strong government role will be critical to ensure that the deployment of these technologies is guided to improve the quality of life for citizens. Governments need to provide strong regulatory oversight to give the public confidence in testing and deployment as well as support collaboration across industry and the community.
To that end we are strongly supportive of existing and emerging pilots and trials underway and proposed around the country, building a collaborative and transparent understanding of the challenges and opportunities these technologies offer, and ensuring that public safety is always the key consideration.
Government should also play a key role in working with the private sector to facilitate deployment and remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to enhance the widespread deployment of proven technologies.
Local government play a unique role in the transport sector as organisations that both operate as transport providers and policy-makers with a primary consideration of serving their communities most effectively, efficiently, and equitably.
To that end Councils are crucial in planning for the future of transport and crafting the policy and regulatory frameworks in which they operate, and importantly, working with their communities on building understanding and consensus are these exciting opportunities.
ITS Australia commends the City of Port Phillip in looking to gain a better understanding of these important once-in-a-generation opportunities and are keenly interested in supporting any efforts to acquire information from industry on infrastructure that will support the development of your Integrated Transport Strategy and pave the way for way for future transport technology in the City of Port Phillip.