Transport disadvantage in the suburbs

One of the perennial concerns about suburban sprawl is transport disadvantage. But just how significant is the problem? Most importantly, is it a problem that can only be tackled effectively by ‘abolishing’ fringe growth and replacing it with multi unit housing within established suburbs?

Research done by Currie and Sensbergs and Currie and Delbosc on outer suburban Melbourne gives a sense of the dimensions of this issue. The data shows that 94% of outer suburban households have at least one car and 61% have at least two.

Compared to the 1970s, much of the transport disadvantage associated with outer suburban living has been mitigated by higher car ownership and to some extent by social infrastructure levies on developers.

However disadvantage is usually associated with low incomes. Currie and Sensberg found that 18% of lower income households living in the outer suburbs don’t have a car. They make up around 8% of all outer suburban households or about 1.5% of all  households in Melbourne. They are typically older, retired pensioners living alone and unemployed single mothers in rented accommodation. Read the rest of this entry »

Electric cars could have 10-20% of the market in 10 years

Evan Thornley, the CEO of Better Place Australia, predicted on Inside Business yesterday that plug-in vehicles will have 10-20% of the Australian vehicle market by 2020 and the entire national vehicle fleet will have transitioned from petrol to electricity in 20-25 years. Better Place Australia, which is in the business of providing the support infrastructure for plug-in vehicles,will start in Canberra in late 2011 and will then roll out throughout the country starting late 2012. RACV has taken a $2 million stake in the company.