A bifurcation of the peak: New patterns of traffic peaking during the COVID-19 era

Recently published:

  • Gao, Yang and Levinson, D. (2022) A bifurcation of the peak: New patterns of traffic peaking during the COVID-19 era. Transportation. [doi]

This paper analyzes the emergence of two well-defined peaks during the morning peak period in the traffic flow diurnal curve. It selects six California cities as research targets, and uses California employment and household travel survey data to explain how and why this phenomenon has risen during the pandemic. The final result explains that the double-humped phenomenon results from the change in the composition of commuters during the morning peak period after the outbreak.

Traffic flow diurnal curve of Los Angeles in 2020
Traffic flow diurnal curve of Los Angeles in 2020

Prioritizing Active Transport Network Investment using Locational Accessibility

Recently published:

  • Lahoorpoor, B., Rayaprolu, H., Wu, H., and Levinson, D. (2022) Prioritizing Active Transport Network Investment using Locational Accessibility. TeMA – Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment. 15(2), 179-192. [doi]

This research explores prioritizing network investment to improve walking and biking access in a suburban area with a poorly connected street network. This study’s methods provide a systematic approach to design and prioritize the potential links to improve active travel in the suburban environment. An access-oriented ranking system is proposed to prioritize the contribution of links in two evaluation processes for different travel time thresholds. One of the developing suburbs in Sydney is selected as the case study, and a list of potential links is identified. Results indicate that links with the highest added access per unit of cost are the links that have the highest impact if all links are built. However, the locational network structure surrounding the point of interest may affect the order. For a radial network, closer links lead to higher access, while for a tree-like network structure, connecting branches improve access significantly. Also, farther potential links are significantly dependent on the closer links in increasing accessibility for a specific location. This suggests that in order to utilize the network, there should be a sequence in constructing the potential links. The application of access-oriented network investment is also discussed.

Miller Central Access

EVs in Australia

The Daily Mail posts an article with this needlessly antagonistic headline: How Australian taxpayers will need to spend BILLIONS to transition from petrol and diesel to electric cars (which start at $47k for a VERY basic model) – as the ACT pushes ahead with a BAN on combustion engines by 2035 .

Contra the headline, the article itself is not bad.

My quotes:

Professor Levinson estimated the current infrastructure should be able to handle a market share above 20 per cent, given most cars will be charged at home.

‘This is not going to be a sudden crisis,’ he said. 

Professor David Levinson, an American civil engineer and transportation analyst at the University of Sydney, said the federal government’s lack of commitment to the electric vehicle market was ‘disappointing’.

‘Given the potential abundance of renewables in Australia, this is disappointing, but the government has made few efforts to accelerate EV uptake with tax breaks or higher fuel or petrol car purchase taxes, and the previous government was talking down EVs as recently as the 2019 campaign,’ he said of Mr Morrison’s tenure.  

… 

Professor Levinson said he expects lower cost EVs to enter the Australian market in the coming years.

‘As the price of batteries drop, we would expect lower cost car-sized EVs to enter the market in Australia as they have in other countries. That will naturally increase market uptake,’ he said.

‘Inflation will raise the cost of everything, but the relative higher price of EVs should diminish, and Bloomberg expects a crossover point in a few years when EVs are less expensive that petrol cars.’ 

Professor Levinson believes Australia need to do more to combat the country’s ‘large share of carbon emissions’ and commit to electrifying its roads. 

‘Converting new cars purchases to electric takes out tailpipe emissions. But old cars will remain on the road for years,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘It will take about 20 years to turn over nearly the entire fleet from the point that almost all new cars are EVs (around 2030), without government incentives or mandates.’

Some additional points:

  1. Australia is slow in EV uptake compared to peer nations. Almost all of Norway’s new cars are EVs now (https://cleantechnica.com/2022/05/04/norways-april-ev-market-share-at-84-fleet-share-at-23/).
  2. There are 2600 petrol stations in New South Wales (https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/~/media/EPA/Corporate%20Site/resources/clm/2008552ServStations.ashx) So long as electric vehicle range is similar to petrol vehicle range, we would expect that public charging stations should have a similar number. But EVs have the advantage that they can slow charge at many people’s houses, so there might not need to be quite as many. 
  3. EVs should be defined to include e-bikes, small golf cart sized vehicles, as well as replacements for people’s cars and Utes. So there is already a wide range in price, but yes, as the price of batteries drop, we would expect lower cost car-sized EVs to enter the market in Australia as they have in other countries. (The Kia Soul EV is available in Norway, e.g., though still more expensive than the petrol version in Australia )  And that will naturally increase market uptake. (Inflation will raise the cost of everything, but the relative higher price of EVs should diminish, and Bloomberg expects a crossover point in a few years when EVs are less expensive that petrol cars).
  4. The infrastructure should be able to handle a market share above 20% EVs, most EVs will charge at home, most EV homes will have rooftop solar, and most houses will have batteries. Particularly as more storage for renewables comes online (for example, Snowy 2 begins to come online in 2025), this is not going to be a sudden crisis.
  5. The transition to EVs which will happen despite government policies not because of them. (Though government could make this easier or harder). As the transition continues demand for fuel will drop, so there should be plenty of market supply available, but a government serious about Net Zero would tax fuel at a higher rate than present to lower demand. 

Equilibrium or Imbalance? Rail Transit and Land Use Mix in Station Areas

Recently published:

  • Wang, Yuning, Lu, D, and Levinson, D. (2022) Equilibrium or Imbalance? Rail Transit and Land Use Mix in Station Areas. Transportation. [doi]

Abstract

Although it is widely reported that rail transit has the potential to encourage higher density development, it remains unclear whether rail transit leads to more mixed urban development across station areas. This article provides rare quantitative analysis of changes in land use mix around the rail transit system in Tianjin, China through an investigation into the spatial effects of a rail transit line which cuts across both highly developed and lessdeveloped areas. By using longitudinal data over a twelve-year period (2004–2016) and by comparing the entropy-based land-use mix index, the study shows that with the operation of rail transit, land use mix has increased in formerly low-mixed station catchments, but the change is not obvious for already highly diverse areas. It also shows that a more balanced development occurs in station areas with higher land use dominance, while the leading functions are intensified in station areas with lower land use dominance. By presenting a clear picture of the spatial distribution and patterns of land use mix changes over time, this article concludes that rail transit leads to more balanced development across different station areas in the context of China’s rapid urbanization. The outcome provides a base for further exploring how the planning of rail transit stations may help tackle the differentiated development in cities.

Keywords Rail transit · Land use mix · Spatial variations · Tianjin

Fig. 3 The land use of M1 in 2016
Fig. 3 The land use of M1 in 2016

Dr. Bahman Lahoorpoor

Bahman Lahoorpoor

Congratulations to Dr. Bahman Lahoorpoor for “satisfying the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney.”

Thesis Title:  “Terraces, Towers, Trams, and Trains : Examining the Growth of Sydney using Empirical Models and Agent-based Simulation

Lead Supervisor: Professor David Levinson.

Abstract: Transport networks and land use are inter-dependent. This joint co-development process of infrastructure and building location is often theorised to be a positive feedback cycle: transport infrastructure produces accessibility that induces land development, which induces transport demand and increases accessibility, increasing the production of transport networks (i.e. inducing supply) and further intensifying land development. In Chapter 2 we investigate the critical elements of this dual connection between land use and transit. Sydney as a good example of a rapidly developing city, had public railway transport services beginning in the 1850s, which facilitated and responded to the development of suburbs. Chapter 3 explains how the historical railway network, including trams and trains, and historical population data are collected and digitised. A series of network characteristic measures and a metric for characterising the population distribution are also presented. In Chapter 4 we test whether trams expanded accessibility relative to buses by comparing the services provided by historical trams, the replaced bus services, and the remaining train and light rail networks. We compare 1925, when the tram system was at its peak, and 2020. In Chapter 5 we investigate the theory of interaction between land use and the transit network. We investigate the direct and indirect links between land development and transit investments using the concept of accessibility. We develop an empirical model to capture the Greater Sydney area’s historical evolution of land use and public transit networks. In Chapter 6 we develop a simulation framework to replicate the growth of railway networks by given exogenous historical evolution in land use. The framework is an iterative process that includes five consecutive components including environment loading, measuring access, locating stations, connecting stations, and evaluating connections.

Publications by Bahman Lahoorpoor include:

  • Lahoorpoor, B. and Levinson, D. (2022) In Search of Lost Trams: Comparing 1925 and 2020 Transit Isochrones in Sydney. Findings, March. [doi]
  • Lahoorpoor, B., Rayaprolu, H., Wu, H., and Levinson, D. (2022) Access-oriented design? Disentangling the effect of land use and transport network on accessibility. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives. [doi]
  • Lahoorpoor, B., Rayaprolu, H., Wu, H., and Levinson, D. (2022) Prioritizing active transport network investment using locational accessibility. TeMA – Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment (in press)
  • Rayaprolu, H., Wu, H., Lahoorpoor, B., and Levinson, D. (2022) Maximizing Access in Transit Network Design. Journal of Public Transportation. 24. [doi]
  • Wang, Yingshuo, Lahoorpoor, B. and Levinson, D. (2022) The Spatio-temporal Evolution of Sydney’s Tram Network Using Network Econometrics. Geographical Analysis. [doi]
  • Lahoorpoor, Bahman and Levinson, D. (2020) Catchment if you can: The effect of station entrance and exit locations on accessibility. Journal of Transport Geography. 82, 102556. [doi] [full report]

Transportist: August 2022

August 1 is of course best known in the transport community as TRB submission day. I hope everyone got their Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting papers out the door (virtually) and uploaded to the online system with a minimum of fuss. My plan, viruses and governments willing, is to attend in January for the first time since 2020. Maybe I will see some of the 3000 of you there.

Posts

[I was more engaged drawing this than just about anything I’ve done recently, I became a transport planner because I thought we would actually get to draw lines on maps. I’m sad that’s hardly part of the job. ]

Sydney FAST 2030: A Proposal for Faster Accessible Surface Transport (FAST).
Sydney FAST 2030: A Proposal for Faster Accessible Surface Transport (FAST).

Compared to comparably-sized cities in North America, Sydney does very well on Public Transport (Transit), with a pre-Covid 26% transit commute share. Compared to cities in Europe or Asia, it does poorly, indicating significant room for improvement. 

Much of that difference has to do with wealth and space. Despite the complaints,  Sydney is rich (money doesn’t grow on trees, but it does grow in rocks), so most families have cars. Sydney is also far less concentrated than cities in Europe or Asia, so distances are more amenable to the automobile and less to public transport, and the accessibility indicators show that.

Still, it’s clear more can be done.

There have been a forest of expired plans for public transport in Sydney. There are more plans still in the works. They almost entirely focus either on Trains (and especially Metros), or on specific lines that a particular party is pushing. But a detailed comprehensive look at the layer below the trains is missing.

… [READ MORE] …

See also:

Follow-Up

Research

  • Wang, Yingshuo, Lahoorpoor, B. and Levinson, D. (2022) The Spatio-temporal Evolution of Sydney’s Tram Network Using Network Econometrics. Geographical Analysis. [doi]This paper examines the evolution of Sydney trams using network econometrics approaches. Network econometrics extends spatial econometrics by developing weight matrices based onthe physical structure of the network, allowing for competing and complementary elementsto have distinct effects. This research establishes a digitized database of Sydney historical tramway network, providing a complete set of geo-referenced data of the opening and closing year and frequencies by time of day for every line. An autoregressive distributed lag model is specified and reveals that the combination of correlation strength and magnitude of lagged flow change on correlated links is a significant predictor of future tram service. The results indicate that complementary and competitive links play distinct roles in shaping the network structure. A link is more likely to undergo the same structural change highly complementary (upstream or downstream) links underwent previously, where the influence is measured by a combination of correlation strength and link importance, reflected by historical service levels.
  • Wang, Jiaoe, Huang, Jie, Yang, Haoran, and Levinson, D. (2022) Resilience and recovery of public transport use during COVID-19. npj Urban Sustainability 2(18) [doi]To better understand how public transport use varied during the first year of COVID-19, we define and measure travel behavior resilience. With trip records between November 2019 and September 2020 in Kunming, China, we identify people who relied on traveling by subway both before and after the first pandemic wave. We investigate whether and how travelers recover to their pre-pandemic mobility level. We find that public transport use recovered slowly, as urban mobility is a result of urban functionality, transport supply, social context, and inter-personal differences. In general, urban mobility represents a strengthened revisiting tendency during COVID-19, as individual’s trips occur within a more limited space. We confirm that travel behavior resilience differs by groups. Commuters recover travel frequency and length, while older people decrease frequency but retain activity space. The study suggests that policymakers take group heterogeneity and travel behavior resilience into account for transport management and city restoration.
  • When driving near a cycle lane, do you speed up or slow down? Where you’re from may influence your answer from The Conversation, based on: 
    • Loyola Borja, Miguel, Nelson, J., Clifton, G., and Levinson, D. (2022) The relation of visual perception of speed limits and the implementation of cycle lanes – a cross-country comparison. Accident Analysis and Prevention. Volume 174, September 2022, 106722. [doi]

News

Image

Polls

I did a Poll series. My Twitter Followers responses below, and are collectively inconsistent in my view (how can you favor lockdowns and not border quarantines, surely limiting international travel is less restrictive and affects fewer people, with the benefit of keeping the bad stuff out, than restricting local travel) (my answers with asterisk). [Of course, maybe people are interpreting this differently than my mental model of what a lockdown and a border quarantine is.]

Knowing what we know now, covid-19 lockdowns were:

  • The right strategy 82.8%
  • The wrong strategy 17.2% * [Since people suffered so much, it will be hard for them to admit this was the wrong strategy, but given nearly everyone has gotten COVID anyway, I don’t know how we can think otherwise. Obviously some restrictions to slow the spread, etc., but that’s very different from a lockdown.][Yes it would be worse without vaccines, but not everyone is vaccinated now …]

Knowing what we knew then, covid-19 lockdowns were:

  • The right strategy 86.8% * 
  • The wrong strategy 13.2%

Knowing what we know now, covid-19 border quarantines were:

  • The right strategy 54% * 
  • The wrong strategy46%

Knowing what we knew then, covid-19 border quarantines were:

  • The right strategy 69.8% * 
  • The wrong strategy 30.2%

We should at this time have lockdowns to prevent or reduce the spread of covid-19 and influenza

  • Lockdowns now 14.8% 
  • No lockdowns now 85.2% * 

We should at this time close down borders (border quarantines) to prevent or reduce the spread of covid-19 and influenza

  • Border closures now 3.9% 
  • No border closures now 96.1% *

Forum

My Public Forum on Traffic Signals is available on the Ecotransit youtube:

Sydney FAST 2030: A Proposal for Faster Accessible Surface Transport (FAST).

Sydney FAST 2030: A Proposal for Faster Accessible Surface Transport (FAST).
Sydney FAST 2030: A Proposal for Faster Accessible Surface Transport (FAST).

Compared to comparably-sized cities in North America, Sydney does very well on Public Transport (Transit), with a pre-Covid 26% transit commute share. Compared to cities in Europe or Asia, it does poorly, indicating significant room for improvement. 

Much of that difference has to do with wealth and space. Despite the complaints,  Sydney is rich (money doesn’t grow on trees, but it does grow in rocks), so most families have cars. Sydney is also far less concentrated than cities in Europe or Asia, so distances are more amenable to the automobile and less to public transport, and the accessibility indicators show that.

Still, it’s clear more can be done.

There have been a forest of expired plans for public transport in Sydney. There are more plans still in the works. They almost entirely focus either on Trains (and especially Metros), or on specific lines that a particular party is pushing. But a detailed comprehensive look at the layer below the trains is missing.

I believe that removing rather than recapitalising most of Sydney’s Tram network was a mistake, and the evidence of Melbourne’s popular Tram service is as close to case-control comparison you can find in this field. Sydney has higher transit mode share than Melbourne, but that is because the Trains are so much better (higher frequency), not because people like the buses better than the Trams.

Still, that does not mean the trams should all be put back. First, Sydney cannot build everything on the historic maps, at least not all at once, even Chinese Metros have been built over phases. Even more significantly, you do not want to:

  1. It may have been overbuilt. Many historic tram lines were abandoned fairly early, indicating the proponents missed their mark.
  2. We have to prioritise. Some things are more important than others, or have a higher benefit/cost ratio. 
  3. Conditions have changed. The places where historic trams were built may not warrant tram service today because the land use has changed, and of course because people’s travel preferences have changed with the widespread introduction of the automobile, the broader train network, and telecommunications and other technologies. 

I have been thinking about a “blank slate” redo of Sydney surface public transport (buses and trams). This is something the Government could do in a decade if they applied themselves.

You can see a detailed version in Google Maps here. You will need to zoom out, as it centers on the Liverpool CBD (the geographic center of the region). As always feedback is welcome.

Extending the LRT System

The Figure below shows the Existing, Under Construction, and the Sydney FAST 2030 Proposal LRT Lines. 

Sydney FAST 2030 Proposal: Proposed LRT Lines, Existing LRT and BRT,  and Under Construction LRT.
Sydney FAST 2030 Proposal: Proposed LRT Lines, Existing LRT and BRT, and Under Construction LRT.

Design Principles

  1. History: The routes on the historic maps were reasonable starting points, they knew what they were doing and often reshaped the landscape to fit trams, and the human landscape reshaped to adapt to tram corridors. Trams added access.
  2. Comport: The new lines should comport with their environment and take almost no existing buildings, but instead use existing street space as much as possible, especially former tram lines, as well as former rights-of-way where appropriate. 
  3. Significance: We want to connect places that were significant 100 years ago because they are most likely to be significant 100 years from now, lines should follow historic RoW.
  4. Directness: Routes should proceed in a fairly direct (non-circuitous) routes between the origin and destination.
  5. Parsimony: We should have a few core lines with a maximum of one split (two branches) at either end. The branches can be numbered differently (L2 vs. L3), but they share a core. Spurs with high frequency can be used if branching becomes a problem.
  6. Complementarity: All lines should complement existing higher capacity public transport (Trains and Metro), not substitute for them. (Net riders on Trains and Metro should increase after the LRT opens)
  7. Terminals: Lines should start and end at key transfer points (e.g. a Train Station) or destinations (e.g. the Beach)
  8. Gap-filling: Lines should serve areas that are today underserved, even if it violates the above (e.g. Lane Cove)
  9. Rebalance Movement and Place: Motorway construction allows us to repurpose roads that presently have a conflict between Movement and Place function (Parramatta Road, King Street/Princes Highway, Military Road)
  10. Reconcentration: The collection of new lines (these plus that already committed) should serve all areas of the built up parts of Greater Sydney, and support infill (and brownfield) development rather than speculative greenfield development. 
  11. Exclusivity: The designs assume LRT to get high ride quality on exclusive tracks with lower operating costs. These are not classic trams that shared space with roads.
  12. Frequent: Most lines are served by single (articulated) car (L1), at a high frequency rather than fewer but longer trains (L2) at low frequency. 
  13. Electrical: Electric powered, electricity delivered by wire (more efficient than battery storage)

Proposed LRT Lines

The Proposed Lines are discussed below:

  1. L1sx: (Red) L1 Southern Extension: Central to Green Square and Mascot via Elizabeth and O’Riordan, Rationale: Serves existing high density areas and potential redevelopment sites. Elizabeth and O’Riordan are most feasible for Tram services due to Street widths among parallel routes and centrality. Provides capacity relief for T8 service, as well as serving areas in between the far-spaced stations. FAST Buses would serve parallel routes.  Extends L1 to maintain balance of flows (not split CBD frequencies too much on L2/L3, single car trams appropriate for this street running service. (~5.8 km)
  2. L2/L3liz: (Dark Blue) Elizabeth Street: Relocate the L2 and L3 on the eastern side of the Sydney CBD from George Street to Elizabeth Street (Phillip Street), and then circle around to George St. Rationale: Provides service to Eastern CBD via Tram (currently missing), allows George Street to serve L2 and L3 western extensions.
  3. L2ex: (Light Blue) Coogee Extension: Extends L2 from Randwick through The Spot to Coogee Beach. Rationale: Connect to a popular beach from the CBD without a transfer
  4. L2wx: (Light Blue) Broadway – Wolli:   This line takes over the George Street LRT (which meets (and through runs with) the Elizabeth Street LRT. At Central it proceeds west along Broadway, South along City Road, down King Street in Newtown, down Princes Highway, to Wolli Creek. Rationale: Provides high capacity services to part of University of Sydney (Camperdown) currently without rail service, Newtown. It has the potential to pedestrianise King Street in Newtown (like George Street in the CBD)  by terminating City Road at Carillon Avenue and terminating Prince’s Highway at Sydney Park Road, which should be now feasible in a post-WestConnex world.
  5. L3ex: (Dark Blue) Little Bay Extension: Extends L3 along Anzac Parade from Kingsford through Maroubra to Little Bay
  6. L3wx (Dark Blue) Broadway – Five Dock: The line splits with the L2wx line and runs along Parramatta Road to Norton Street in Leichhardt, and turns West at Marion, to proceed through Haberfield to Five Dock, where it terminates at a Metro Station.
  7. L4: (Green) Oxford Street/Victoria Road:  From West to East: West Ryde, via Top of the Ryde, Gladesville, Huntley’s Point, Drummoyne (assumes A40 tunnel under Drummoyne), Rozelle, sharing the existing L1 line (Alt: take two lanes from the Anzac Bridge), Museum, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Woollahra, Bondi Junction  to Bondi Beach
  8. L5: (Purple) North-South: Wynyard to Northbridge via Harbour Bridge, North Sydney, Cammeray to Northbridge. This project restores Tram service to Wynyard Station and the Harbour Bridge, providing local services to North Sydney, and enabling interchanges with regional Trains and Metro services.
  9. L6: (Purple) Wynyard to Lane Cove via Pacific Highway. Sharing track with the L5, it branches to provide local services on the dense Pacific Highway corridor and connecting with the historic regional center of Lane Cove, which is in an area underserved by rail.
  10. P1nx: (Orange) Castle Hill Extension: (Female Factory through Baulkham Hills to Castle Hill)
  11. P1ex: (Orange) Camellia Service (Rosehill – Camellia – Silverwater – Newington – Olympic Park)
  12. P2nx: (Orange) Epping Extension (Carlingford to Epping). Extends Parramatta LRT Phase 2

Creating a Rapid Bus Network

Sydney FAST 2030  Proposal: Rapid Bus Lines. 
Sydney FAST 2030 Proposal: Rapid Bus Lines. 

Buses have not received the attention they deserve. We could do much better with buses than we actually do, but elite projection (elites can imagine themselves riding trains but not buses) is hard to overcome, so buses are regarded as inferior to trains for reasons that mostly have to do with how we use buses in the system, rather than the technology itself.  [Recognising that the ride quality of buses on streets is not as high as trains on exclusive rights-of-way]. This vision for Rapid Buses is not T-Ways (on exclusive rights-of-way) everywhere, but more akin to the Arterial Bus Rapid Transit services that Metro Transit in Minnesota provides. (You can see a nice video about the service). In short, buses are the workhorse of the public transport system, and need more attention to make them as excellent as possible.

Principles

  • Gridded: We should design a Grid-like network, so that people can get to their destination with at most one-transfer. I don’t think this actually holds because of an inconvenient river. All of the proposed V-Lines stop south of the Parramatta River. Rail service north of the River is good, the B-Line already exists (which can be thought of as V-01), and the proposed LRT extension above are fairly comprehensive, so the areas north of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River get more H-Lines and no V-Lines. The existing Railroad rights-of-way present another barrier, as there are few surface street crossings of the lines, those are taken advantage of where possible, but wind up distorting the network from an idealised grid. (See Bambul’s post for a similar idea with a slightly different implementation or my earlier version focusing on Inner Sydney.)
  • Directness: We should minimise bus circuity for these routes (there can be other minor routes after these are fixed, I won’t bother with that here), so that travelers are not riding all over creation as the bus operator seeks a few extra passengers or to meet some arbitrary standard about distance to the nearest bus stop. 
  • Complementarity: Routes should complement not compete with existing Train, Metro, LRT, BRT routes. So even when there are bridges over the Parramatta River, they are already served by existing rail lines, so the principle of complementarity reduces the ability to provided continuous V-Line services from the south to the north, relying instead on transfers. This proposal assumes everything under construction and budgeted will be built (major Motorways, Metros, etc.)
  • Feasibility: The cost should relatively minimal (achieving High Return on Investment), so essentially no new roads, bridges, and so on, are built for the bus routes, and a minimum number for the proposed  LRT links.

The services are gridded, so they are divided into H-Lines and V-Lines. Specific lines are itemised below.

H-Lines

Shown in pale blue, East-West or Horizontal (“H”) Lines (always even numbers, major lines end in 0, lowest numbers in the North, highest in the South)

  • H10: Parramatta – Eastwood – Macquarie Park
  • H20: Chatswood – Cremorne – Mosman – Manley
  • H30: Crows Nest – Cremorne – Mosman – Taronga
  • H40: Guildford – Lidcombe – Olympic Park – North Strathfield – Concord – Canada Bay – Drummoyne – Birkenhead
  • H50: Bonnyrigg – Cabramatta- Yagoona – Chullora – South Strathfield – Enwood – Burwood Heights – Croydon – Haberfield
  • H60: Bankstown – Belfield – Ashfield – Leichhardt – Annandale – Glebe – Usyd – Redfern – Surry Hills – Moore Park – Waverly – Bronte
  • H64: Stanmore – University of Sydney – Redfern – North Waterloo
  • H68: St Peters – Randwick – Clovelly
  • H70: Liverpool – Canterbury – Dulwich Hill – Petersham – Enmore – Newtown – Alexandria – Green Square – Kensington (via Old Canterbury Road)
  • H80: Bardwell Park – Earlwood – Marrickville – Enmore – Newtown – Erskineville – Alexandria – Green Square – Kensington – Coogee
  • H90: Sydenham – Mascot – Rosebery – Eastlakes – Kingsford – South Coogee – Maroubra
  • H100: Revesby – Padstow Heights – Beverly Hills – Bexley – Arnclife – Kyeemagh – Botany – Pagewood – Eastgardens – Maroubra – Maroubra Beach

V-Lines

Shown in light purple, North-South or Vertical (“V”) Lines (always odd numbers, major lines end in 5, lowest numbers in the East, highest in the West)

  • V03: Bronte – Vaucluse – Watson’s Bay
  • V05: Rose Bay – Double Bay – Eastcliffe – Randwick – Maroubra
  • V11: Botany – Eastlakes – Rosebery – Zetland
  • V13: Potts Point – Zetland – Green Square – Mascot – Botany – Malabar
  • V15: Botany Road – Circular Quay – The Rocks – Barangaroo – Redfern – Green Square – Botany – Pagewood – Eastgardens – Maroubra
  • V21: St Peters – Waterloo Metro – Redfern
  • V23: White Bay – Annandale – Stanmore
  • V25: Balmain – Leichhardt – Petersham – Marrickville – Sydenham – Wolli Creek – Miranda
  • V29: Dulwich Hill LRT – Earlwood – Bardwell Park
  • V31: Summer Hill – Hurlstone Park
  • V35: Abbotsford – Five Dock – Croydon – Canterbury – Bardwell Park – Banksia
  • V41: Bexley – Rockdale – Brighton-Le-Sands – Kogorah
  • V45: Sans Souci – Carlton – Bexley North – Cabarita
  • V47: Mortlake Spur 
  • V55: Ramsgate – Allawah – Bexley – Kingsgrove – Belmore – Strathfield
  • V65: Carrs Park – Hurstville – Beverly Hills – Wiley Park – Flemington
  • V67: Penshurst – Lakemba – Greenacre – Chollura – Lidcombe – Olympic Park
  • V71: Mortdale – Riverwood – Punchbowl
  • V73: Padstow – Bankstown – Yagoona – Regent’s Park – Auburn
  • V75: Rose Hill – Sefton – Revesby
  • V85: Parramatta – Merrylands – Chester Hill to Panania
  • V95: East Hills – Villawood – Fairfield – Westmead

Physical geography is always a factor. Because of the width of Sydney compared to the height, there are more V-Lines than H-Lines. Also, based on the principle of non-redundancy, more vertical bus routes are provided, as there are more existing and under construction horizontal train lines.

Note this service stops in Liverpool, as the areas west are not developed yet. We have ideas about that, and I am currently doing work in the area, so will abstain.

If any of these H- or V-Lines are successful, they can of course be upgraded, and as the physical rail network changes, one expects these lines will evolve as well, taking advantage of the flexibility offered by buses. I have not conducted a formal accessibility analysis of this FAST network proposal, but if you are interested in funding something, find me.

This vision is essential if public and active transport are to be the preferred choice for most Sydneysiders, which is critical for achieving the environmental goals of eliminating CO2 emissions.

The Spatio-temporal Evolution of Sydney’s Tram Network Using Network Econometrics

Recently published:

  • Wang, Yingshuo, Lahoorpoor, B. and Levinson, D. (2022) The Spatio-temporal Evolution of Sydney’s Tram Network Using Network Econometrics. Geographical Analysis. [doi]

This paper examines the evolution of Sydney trams using network econometrics approaches. Network econometrics extends spatial econometrics by developing weight matrices based onthe physical structure of the network, allowing for competing and complementary elementsto have distinct effects. This research establishes a digitized database of Sydney historical tramway network, providing a complete set of geo-referenced data of the opening and closing year and frequencies by time of day for every line. An autoregressive distributed lag model is specified and reveals that the combination of correlation strength and magnitude of lagged flow change on correlated links is a significant predictor of future tram service. The results indicate that complementary and competitive links play distinct roles in shaping the network structure. A link is more likely to undergo the same structural change highly complementary (upstream or downstream) links underwent previously, where the influence is measured by a combination of correlation strength and link importance, reflected by historical service levels.

Sydney land use and tram network service level in 1938.

Resilience and recovery of public transport use during COVID-19

Recently published:

  • Wang, Jiaoe, Huang, Jie, Yang, Haoran, and Levinson, D. (2022) Resilience and recovery of public transport use during COVID-19. npj Urban Sustainability 2(18) [doi]

To better understand how public transport use varied during the first year of COVID-19, we define and measure travel behavior resilience. With trip records between November 2019 and September 2020 in Kunming, China, we identify people who relied on traveling by subway both before and after the first pandemic wave. We investigate whether and how travelers recover to their pre-pandemic mobility level. We find that public transport use recovered slowly, as urban mobility is a result of urban functionality, transport supply, social context, and inter-personal differences. In general, urban mobility represents a strengthened revisiting tendency during COVID-19, as individual’s trips occur within a more limited space. We confirm that travel behavior resilience differs by groups. Commuters recover travel frequency and length, while older people decrease frequency but retain activity space. The study suggests that policymakers take group heterogeneity and travel behavior resilience into account for transport management and city restoration.

Fig. 1: Study area, analytical framework, and data selection. a Location of Kunming and its subway system. b Travel behavior resilience of public transport use. cThe trip rate in Kunming subway system between January and September 2020. (The supply function curve indicates how the public transport system reopened and adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resilience triangle can be calculated with the degree of mobility change, and the periods of reduction and recovery. The trip rate is calculated by the ratio of all transit trips in each week over the weekly average number of trips in November 2019, namely before the COVID-19 pandemic. As we tracked individual trip records, frequent travelers are those who accessed the subway system frequently in November 2019, and their travel frequency recovered in September 2020. The remaining travelers in November 2019 are tracked as infrequent travelers. Note that data in June and August 2020 are unavailable.).