Brisbane deemed best transport system in Australia

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Sydney Traffic
Morning rush hour traffic crawls along a freeway in western Sydney December 15, 2008. Reuters/Tim Wimborne

A new report shows that Brisbane transport network is now the best in Australia. Sydney missed out on the top spot due the city’s urban sprawl, the report finds.

Design and consultancy firm Arcadis has released a report that rates Sydney’s transport network second best in the country and 51st globally. Brisbane outshined Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth.

The findings come amid the “Rail Fail’’ crisis and concerns regarding the growing road gridlock. The Sustainable Cities Mobility Index shows Brisbane at number 48 overall following an assessment of 100 of the world’s centres.

In Amsterdam, the average commute had been cut to less than half an hour by making cycling a priority and creating capacity on trains and trams. The report notes Brisbane could learn from it.

Sydney is second best

Arcades Sydney City Executive Stephen Taylor said Sydney is truly a global city in several ways, but it is still chasing “truly integrated and sustainable transport.” “There are many great initiatives underway that will help improve Sydney’s ranking, such as the light rail and metro, however, as these are yet to be completed they are not reflected in the ranking,” Taylor said, The Daily Telegraph notes.

The report adds that lack of underground metro systems kept Australian cities around the middle of the rankings or lower. It also mentioned a dependence on private vehicles.

The best transport system globally is Hong Kong, thanks to its well-connected metro network and a high share of trips taken by public transport. According to the report, the nation’s metro system encouraged mobility, “creating economic opportunity and enriching the lives of citizens, businesses and tourists.”

Zurich and Paris follow the list. European cities were also included in the top 20, with the latter cities and Prague securing the top spots.

The Sustainable Cities Mobility Index was compiled by Arcadis. It ranked every city on 23 measurements across social, environmental and economic indicators.

Cities that secured higher rankings have a better balance across the three pillars of sustainability - social (people), environmental (planet) and economic (profit). The top ten cities in the 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index are the following:

1. Hong Kong

2. Zurich

3. Paris

4. Seoul

5. Prague

6. Vienna

7. London

8. Singapore

9. Stockholm

10. Frankfurt

John Batten, Global Cities Director at Arcadis, said that policymakers are dealing with pressure in seeking to meet today's mobility challenges. He added that rapid urbanization, aging infrastructure, population growth and climate change continue to challenge cities.

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