Archive for the ‘Public Transport’ Category

Flexicar at Ride to Work day Docklands event

October 14, 2009

Flexicar was out there on the (wet & cold) Ride to Work Day “Sustainable Transport” event at the Docklands today, organised by Access Melbourne. Luckily some brave souls didn’t let a bit of inclement weather get between them and a lunchtime outing! They’d actually organised a great little event at Victoria Harbour, including a bike wear fashion show, warm soup, prizes, bike engraving by police, updates from Myki and of course, Flexicar!

Here’s a few pictures from the event …





The heat is on…

February 6, 2009

Now that Melbourne’s heat wave has passed (I hope!) and my brain is working again, I thought it was worth reflecting on the week that was.

A week in which Melbourne sweltered under 40+ degree 3 days in a row.   The extreme heat caused bushfires, chaos on the trains and power outages.

It seemed kind of ironic that as we all cranked up our air con and fans trying to keep a little cool, we were all cranking up our brown coal consumption, which in turn will only lead to hotter and hotter temperatures in the future as the impacts of climate change set in.

I don’t blame anyone for trying to keep cool last week.  I had my air con on, so I’m not pointing any fingers.  I’m just reflecting on the irony of it, and the massive task ahead of us to convert our lifestyles to a low carbon future.  Significant investment in alternative and renewable energy sources is absolutely required.

If we don’t tackle the climate change challenge soon and decisively we are committing ourselves to a future that will feel like last week, where are we no longer have the good fortune of cooler temperatures that allow the brain a chance to reflect!

Transport…the elephant in the corner

April 4, 2008

Today at Parliament House the Victorian Premier, John Brumby, hosted the Victorian Climate Change Summit. I listened to the Premier’s address live online this morning. There was lots of good stuff about energy and water covered. However, there was little mention of transport.

The transport sector in Victoria is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gas emission, and what’s more it is the sector with the fastest growing emissions. And the need to address this was further highlighted this week with the release of the Eddington Report.

The only real mention of transport in the Premier’s speech was the need to shift to hybrid cars. Hydrid cars are great, and will be part of the transport sector’s response to climate change. But a shift in the type of cars we drive won’t address issues such as congestion and parking pressure (particularly with our strong population growth). Nor are they currently an affordable option for most people, with hybrids vehicles costing close to $40k on road (the main reason Flexicar doesn’t yet have any hybrids in its fleet).

Furthermore, continuing to build our city around the car leads to other increased greenhouse gas emissions associated with urban sprawl, loss of arable land to housing/roads/parking, greater distances for food to travel, etc.

It was disappointing that in the Premier’s speech this morning there was no mention of public transport, services like Flexicar, car pooling or active transport (walking and cycling). I noted the Victorian Climate Change Summit agenda DID include a break out discussion group topic that included transport. I do hope the delegates in that group addressed the impact of emissions from transport better than the Premier did.

Oh my…myki delayed

March 7, 2008

On the weekend the Sunday Age reported the new Victorian public transport smartcard ticketing system may be abandoned. Apparently budget blowouts and time delays may see the new “myki” system shelved.

This is disappointing news. Flexicar is eagerly awaiting the introduction of a modern smartcard public transport ticketing system. The new myki smartcard ticketing system uses the same sort of technology that runs the Flexicar fleet. If such a smartcard public transport ticketing system existed, the opportunity to integrate public transport and Flexicar would create a whole new spectrum of personal transportation for Melbournians.

With one smartcard you could get on a tram, a train, a bus, and a Flexicar – all your transport needs covered by one swipe of the wrist. How good would that be? How much easy would it be to live car free?

It may sound futuristic, but many cities in European already have integrated sustainable transport systems that include car share. And this plan has already gained support from the Victorian government way back in 2005….(when we used to be called Flo Carshare).

But back in 2005 the Victorian government told us we’d have new public transport smartcard system by 2007. It now sounds as though the delays to myki mean a world class, integrated, sustainable transport system for Melbourne is still some years away.