2018 Australian Transport Summary


SUMMARY (View PDF version with pictures here)

The International Association of Public Transport Australia/New Zealand (UITPANZ) and the Transport and Tourism Forum (TTF) co-hosted the 7thAustralian Transport Summit (Summit) which saw almost 200 leaders gather to debate and discuss top of mind issues facing the transport industry in Australia. Our program featured federal and state parliamentarians, current transport authority heads, heads of major transport operators and foremost industry experts. The event explored three themes: 

  • Australia’s long-term mobility future,
  • Delivering city-changing transport infrastructure projects, and 
  • Making better use of existing infrastructure.

The full program can be viewed here. Below is a summary of the key points. 

Text Box: A popular theme in many of UITPANZ’s meetings, events, and conferences is the future of transport. As the lines blur between the private and public sectors’ provision of mobility services to the public, we simply asked our leaders: Where to next? The following keynote addresses and panels at the Summit explored the next steps in shaping our transport future:<br />






THEME ONE  Australia’s long-term mobility future

Opening Keynote Address:The Victorian Government’s long-term vision for public transport Hon Jacinta Allan MP, Victorian Minister for Public Transport

The Hon Jacinta Allan MP, Minister for Public Transport in Victoria, set the tone of the event with her opening keynote address. Sharing her vision for the transport future of Victoria, Minister Allan outlined the major transport projects and accompanying strategies that will focus on increasing the capacity and efficiency of the state’s public transport network for the next decade. 

Panel Discussion:The role of the Federal Government in funding public transport infrastructure projects Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure and the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development 

With an increased commitment to championing public transport projects prevalent amongst both major political parties, the debate is not if the federal government should be investing in these projects, but rather to what extent. Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure and the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Shadow Minister for Tourism discussed funding these country shaping projects at the federal level. 

There was consensus that we as a country need to get more people onto public transport. Projects like the Melbourne Airport Link, Western Sydney Airport, Rail and Cross River Rail are not only important for meeting current transport needs, but that these types of projects provide the means for other things to happen. It was agreed that Government might wish to consider this capacity-building potential as a part of funding propositions moving forward. High Speed Rail and Inland Rail where also mentioned.

Keynote Address: Mobility as a Service – from concept to delivery Hans Arby, Chief Executive Officer | UbiGo

Presenting on the world’s first Mobility as a Service (MaaS) trial, Hans Arby strongly cautioned against comparing MaaS to Netflix. “Netflix is easy”, Hans explains. With Netflix, you are dealing with static content on servers that people can choose to stream. With UbiGo, you are dealing with real people needing to move in real time. Hans offered attendees insight into his view of a model to make MaaS work:

MaaS Topology - 

1.            Integrate information multimodal, travel planner, price info. 

2.            Integration of payment – single trip – find, book and pay.

3.            Integration of service offer – building/subscription – responsibility

4.            Integration of societal goods – Governance and PP cooperation 

UbiGo is a MaaS app that provides users with a monthly subscription-based service to provide for their everyday transport needs. With their trial in Gothenburg a success, UbiGo will take on the largest market in Sweden, offering their services in Stockholm starting 1 September. 

Panel Discussion:Where’s the cash? Funding future public transport services, Clare Gardiner-Barnes, Deputy Secretary | Transport for NSW, Matthew Longland, Deputy Director General | Queensland Department of Main Roads, Michael Hopkins, Deputy Head | Transport for Victoria, Emma Thomas, Director General | Transport Canberra Moderator:Mark Streeting, Partner | L.E.K Consulting

With the understanding that major transport projects will take place around the country for the next few years with more in the pipeline, these panellists discussed funding options beyond the traditional government model. New funding needs to account for more open engagement with the private sector to respond to customer demand to deliver more and better-quality services, including the possibility of a paradigm shift from subsidising operators to subsidising the customer directly.

Text Box: With a succinct vision set for the long game and how we will pay for it, the conversation shifted to what we are doing now to deliver for the transport needs of today.

THEME TWO     Delivering city-changing transport infrastructure projects

Keynote Address: Delivering city-changing transport infrastructure projects Hon Mark Bailey MP, Minister for Transport and Main Roads | Queensland 

Keynote Address: Delivering Crossrail 2: Lessons for Australia Michèle Dix CBE, Managing Director | Crossrail 2 (London) 

Policy and operations converged with back to back keynote presentations from the Hon Mark Bailey MP and Michèle Dix, both talking about projects that are shaping cities.

After delivering 5.3 million public transport trips during the Commonwealth Games, Queensland has experienced a boom in patronage (33%) on its legacy light rail project with Stage 3 in the works. With a multibillion-dollar budget allocation, and also shaping Queensland is the Cross River Rail project. Demonstrating how this vital project creates other opportunities, Minister Bailey shared how the proposed Brisbane Live project will deliver economic development and employment opportunities and urban renewal for the State.

Across the world, a project of a similar name is aiming to change the way millions of Londoners move about. Crossrail 2 is a proposed new railway for the South East, linking national rail networks in Surrey and Hertfordshire via an underground tunnel through London. Looking at the integration of railways, property and regeneration in order to meet the city’s growing demand for jobs, transport and housing Ms Dix took us through some lessons learned when progressing this project, which has been asked to be fast-tracked for the "sake of London's growth".

Panel Discussion: Challenges in delivering Australia’s largest public transport infrastructure projects Michèle Dix CBE, Managing Director | Crossrail 2 (London)

Graeme Newton, Chief Executive Officer | Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, Evan Tattersall, Chief Executive Officer | Rail Projects Victoria Moderator: Alicia Loxley Presenter & Reporter | Nine News

Carrying on the points raised in the keynote presentations, the panel addressed the challenges in delivering these city-shaping projects. A recurring topic amongst the panellists was the challenge of integration. Panellists encouraged attendees responsible for delivering these type projects to erase crusted-on perceptions of what the project should be and how it should be delivered to get to the heart of what the project will enable the customer to do and how it will enable them to do it. They also  encouraged boldness and being frank in communicating that sometimes you have to disrupt in order to deliver.

Keynote Address: Opportunities for Victoria’s public transport network Jereon Weimar, Chief Executive Officer, Public Transport Victoria 

In his keynote address, PTV CEO, Jeroen Weimar, outlined some historical, social and planning challenges in realising what he called “Victoria 2.0”

He stated that Victoria is essentially living off the back of infrastructure built in the 1930’s with major changes, improvements and expansions just now taking place. Jeroen urged for continued in transport and the corresponding infrastructure in order to meet the population explosion experienced not only in Victoria but in all capital cities. 

Panel Discussion: Mobility and cities: what’s next? Julieanne Alroe, Chair | Infrastructure Australia, Simon Barrett, Senior Partner & Chairman | L.E.K Consulting, René Lalande, Chief Executive Officer | Transdev Australasia Moderator:Alicia Loxley Presenter & Reporter | Nine News

New mobility is the topic on everyone’s mind and attendees got to hear it approached from the point of view of a consultancy, independent authority and multimodal operator. In a space where initial change happens quickly as does the capture of the market, this new and interesting model is certainly a challenge as an industry that has been historically slow to change. Furthermore, the group reasoned that government and companies may not want to give up their direct contact with customers and allow it to be done through a third party, but that this stumbling block must be overcome. The job of total mobility is to create a seamless journey for the customer.

Case Study: Beacon technology: Helping the vision impaired to navigate public transport Karen Hayes, Chief Executive Officer | Guides Dogs Victoria

Shifting focus to how transport impacts all lives, Guide Dogs Victoria gave an invigorating presentation on the results of their unique trial with Public Transport Victoria. Transport is about making journeys happen for all and the low-cost trial used beacon technology at several points in the station to send directional information to an app to help the recipient negotiate barriers and improve their wayfinding. The trial was tested with 50 clients and proved to build capacity and confidence in the users to travel through the network with minimal to no assistance. 

Keynote Address: Managing congestion through innovative management strategies Katsuhiro Nishinari, Professor | University of Tokyo

‘Jamology’, a neologism created to describe the work of Professor Nishinari, is the study of the atypical correlation between density and flux in ant movements to create solutions to ease traffic jams and manage crowds of any kind of moving objects. Based on the ‘Slower is Faster Strategy’, this work reveals that jams are created by human factors and that they can be managed through manipulations of the space through blockages, exit placement and wayfinding. 

Text Box: While planning on the future is critical, we cannot ignore the reality that our population is quickly growing so we must deliver quality transport options today. The final panel focused on how we can use what we have presently to do just that.

THEME THREE   Making better use of existing infrastructure

Panel DiscussionNetwork capacity and efficiency: how to maximise our operations and infrastructureClint Feuerherdt, Chief Executive Officer | Transit Systems, Nicolas Gindt, Chief Executive Officer | Keolis Downer Victoria, Christoph Stadler, Director APAC | moovel Group, Andrew Lezala, Managing Director | Metro Trains Australia Moderator:Michel Masson, Chief Executive Officer | Infrastructure Victoria           

The heads of some of Australia’s major transport operators spoke on how customers have more options than before but that more are necessary to create a whole of transport solution. It was agreed that on-demand services are here to stay, and they should be further explored for their ability to connect previously un-serviced areas, while operations like Sydney Metro – Australia’s biggest public transport project – will change the paradigm of the way Australian’s view public transport due to its automation and turnup and go service.  


With a return to Melbourne, the 2018 Australian Transport Summit continues to be the premier event for public transport leadership discussion in Australia by providing insight into standard industry topics like projects, infrastructure and funding while introducing non-traditional elements of our complex industry with talks on congestion management through Jamology and empowering customers navigate the network with guide dogs.  From billion-dollar funding commitments to tens of dollars for a beacon, it is without doubt that Australia is working hard and creatively to deliver world-class transport options for all Australians and for those visiting. We at UITPANZ look forward to hearing from our leaders on how they have pressed toward the mark when we reconvene in 2019.


Written by Angé Anczewska, Senior Manager – Corporate Affairs and Advocacy, UITP Australia New Zealand (UITPANZ)

This article summarises discussions and key findings the 2018 Australian Transport Summit. The Summit is a yearly forum hosted jointly by the International Association of Public Transport Australia and New Zealand (UITPANZ) and Transport and Tourism Forum (TTF) where senior executives and government leaders are invited to share their perspectives on critical issues impacting the public transport industry.