Transport options for new suburbs ‘can alter behaviours’

The benefits of providing high-quality active transport and public transport options in residential growth areas easily outweigh the costs, a new study has found.

RMIT University researchers said the overall benefits of providing early, high-quality transport options in the Casey and Wyndham local government areas of metropolitan Melbourne added up to about $925 million and $691 million respectively, compared to implementation costs of around $59 million in each area.

This provided a benefit-cost-ratio of 15.7 for the Casey growth area and 11.7 for the Wyndham growth area.

“The availability of transport infrastructure and services [in new suburbs] can lead … to the breaking previous habits and [the] setting of new ones,” the report says.

Other benefits of new transport options in growth areas include improvements in resident health and well-being from active transport-related exercise – including walking to public transport stops – and benefits from enhanced economic and social participation. 

The project examining how to provide healthy transport options for residents of new suburbs was funded by RMIT, through its Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform, and with industry contributions.