The problem with Melbourne

 
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A woodford opinion, you have been warned,

One sees on Railpage a regular complaint along the lines of the government/Premier/some politician should be shot because of some transport issue. Unfortunatly Melbourne's transport problems are not simple and are not going to be solved easily any time soon.

The problem is simple,  compared to other metro areas of large cities Melbourne population density is VERY low. Greater London for instance has a population of 8,538,689 (2014) and an area of 1,569 km2, Melbourne on the other hand has a population of 4,529,500 (2015) in an area of 9,990.5 km2, ie London has a population density 12 times that of Melbourne, 5,223/km2 versus 453/km2. What this means is cities like London have VASTLY more funds to spend on transport than Melbourne will ever have.

THERE IS NEVER GOING TO BE A CHEAP AND PAINLESS WAY OUT OF THIS. The obvious solution is to convert the inner metro area where transport infrastructure is excellent into medium density housing, blocks say 10 x 30 to 40 metres containing 4 or 5 story dwellings with a separate unit on each floor, as is done in cities like most London, Paris , Berlin etc .

We will very probably never be able to build really good transport setup for Greater Melbourne for the money everyone is willing to put up.

woodford

Sponsored advertisement

  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Yeah but Woodford,tens of billions can be found at the drop of a hat for roads.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Or Turnbull can find $ 2 billion for his Indian mates to build a coal mine and railway in Bananaland.
  OzFrog Locomotive Driver

Location: Melbourne
Thank you Woodford for helping to articulate the trend that I have been noticing on these forums as of late, particularly when it comes to a certain administrator posting hysterical news articles about "Melbourne's Transport Woes" and proclaiming each time that Andrews is a dead man walking. This is despite the fact that his government is actually working really hard as they are at the moment to bring much needed transport infrastructure into Victoria, amongst other projects and policies outside of the transport sphere.

It is a shame that there is no pleasing certain people unless the Premier waves a magic wand and everything gets done at once.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
A woodford opinion, you have been warned,

One sees on Railpage a regular complaint along the lines of the government/Premier/some politician should be shot because of some transport issue. Unfortunatly Melbourne's transport problems are not simple and are not going to be solved easily any time soon.

The problem is simple,  compared to other metro areas of large cities Melbourne population density is VERY low. Greater London for instance has a population of 8,538,689 (2014) and an area of 1,569 km2, Melbourne on the other hand has a population of 4,529,500 (2015) in an area of 9,990.5 km2, ie London has a population density 12 times that of Melbourne, 5,223/km2 versus 453/km2. What this means is cities like London have VASTLY more funds to spend on transport than Melbourne will ever have.

THERE IS NEVER GOING TO BE A CHEAP AND PAINLESS WAY OUT OF THIS. The obvious solution is to convert the inner metro area where transport infrastructure is excellent into medium density housing, blocks say 10 x 30 to 40 metres containing 4 or 5 story dwellings with a separate unit on each floor, as is done in cities like most London, Paris , Berlin etc .

We will very probably never be able to build really good transport setup for Greater Melbourne for the money everyone is willing to put up.

woodford
woodford
No argument with that at all. And I am not saying we should have a Transport system of that of London. It is all relative for London's rail networks are far far larger and much. much more complex than ours. In the Greater London Area there would be nearly 700 Stations to our 240 odd. Toronto has a pop and density similar to that of Melbourne, but their transport system is way better than ours. Simply saying that London has more money than Melbourne is simplistic. It takes political will as well. London's Public Transport was a piece of crap during the Thatcher Years. Indeed London's PT only got better when the then Labour Government set up Transport for London. An agency with real authority not that PTV joke that we have here.

The trouble is that politicians are only willing to spend money on big ticket items that feed their ego. The Melbourne Metro is going to be a new railway grafted on a creaking old commuter network. The existing system should be fixed first.

Michael
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Melbourne has some significant advantages (over, say, Sydney) with the retention of the legacy tram network - although it does lose that edge in areas of very high traffic congestion. Keeping the tram network going ultimately saved the Victorian government billions in the longer term - mainly thanks to the foresight of Sir Robert Risson.

I'm not sure that I agree with you about making the inner areas more dense than the path that they are already on. A lot of heritage has already been lost in places like Collingwood, Richmond and Collins Street - my fear is that you will end up with areas like the horrible canyons around South Yarra station all over Melbourne and some (more) of that Victorian and Edwardian magnificence will be lost to the terrible prefab concrete vertical slums of the future... just an opinion.
  SandyUser17 Station Staff

You wanna know the problem with Melbourne

- Old outdated signalling
- Flinders needs a major upgrade
- We need another 100 new Xtrapolis Trains
- Siemens Trains need to be used more, two are stabled at Brighton every weekend and never get used
- We need a Doncaster Rail
- Comengs should have been gone 5 years ago
- We need an Airport Rail
- We need a Rowville Line via Melbourne University
- Trams are outdated could do with another 200 E Class
- Busses are infrequent
- Melton Line needs electrification
- Stony Point Line needs electrification
- No Train To Chadstone
- Myki is a joke, we need a tourist card for tourists coming to a Melbourne

I haven't even mentioned how we don't even fund Schools, Hospitals and that our Transport System is so screwed it's not funny

Oh The Worlds Most Liveable City. Well an Average House Price of 1.3 in 3 years time welll welll I might have to live in a commission flat, estate or in Broadmeadows or Kannanook
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
... I'm not sure that I agree with you about making the inner areas more dense than the path that they are already on. A lot of heritage has already been lost in places like Collingwood, Richmond and Collins Street - my fear is that you will end up with areas like the horrible canyons around South Yarra station all over Melbourne and some (more) of that Victorian and Edwardian magnificence will be lost to the terrible prefab concrete vertical slums of the future... just an opinion.
don_dunstan
Well like most people. I'd have no trouble if Co... , co... I can't bring myself to say the horrible word, so I'll just say "the suburb between Abbotsford and Fitzroy" was razed and the ground it stood on was ploughed with salt, so nothing could ever live there again, just like the Romans did to Carthage, but I digress.

Many inner suburbs are going mid rise (5 to 6 stories) while others are heritage protected and have a 2 story (6 metre) height limit on any new construction. Thus the suburbs to the north of me and to the east of me are experiencing lots of building of monolithic blocks of flats on the sites of Victoran and Edwardian buildings, while my suburb is almost untouched, except for double story extensions on the back of existing terrace houses.

In 20 years time I suspect that some inner suburbs will have more 21st century housing than 19th century, while other suburbs like mine will retain that pleasant buildings erected during the reign of Queen Victoria. The contrast will be quite incongruous and personally, I think the new construction is already destroying the soul of places like North Fitzroy and East Brunswick. Sad
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Oh The Worlds Most Liveable City. Well an Average House Price of 1.3 in 3 years time welll welll I might have to live in a commission flat, estate or in Broadmeadows or Kannanook
SandyUser17
Word of advice: Housing Commission is not an option in Melbourne any longer, it's been progressively swamped to the point where most people will never get to the top of the list. If you are seriously looking to how you are going to afford to keep living there on an "average" income I'd suggest you start researching and applying to housing cooperatives or associations.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Oh The Worlds Most Liveable City. Well an Average House Price of 1.3 in 3 years time welll welll I might have to live in a commission flat, estate or in Broadmeadows or Kannanook
SandyUser17
Word of advice: Housing Commission is not an option in Melbourne any longer, it's been progressively swamped to the point where most people will never get to the top of the list. If you are seriously looking to how you are going to afford to keep living there on an "average" income I'd suggest you start researching and applying to housing cooperatives or associations.
"don_dunstan"

Not only that, most housing commission flats/units (let's forget that the old Collingwood style high rises exist for now) are life-expired and/or borderline derelict, have no air conditioning, minimal insulation (if any) and next to no soundproofing. Hope you like your bedroom at 38°C when we are swamped with the next lot of desert air and the temperature jumps to the 40s (35 is bad enough, especially how humid it's been lately). It doesn't help that the house I'm in has 7 foot (2m) high west-facing double windows in both bedrooms - I'm sure this was British engineering at its finest, letting in as much natural heat as possible so the temperature can reach double figures on the rare day it isn't raining, hailing or snowing! Roller blinds, curtains, shadecloth, aluminium foil on the windows does absolutely nothing here, the house is like an oven no matter what, even the portable aircon can't get the temperature to drop by more than a few degrees. And as don_dunstan said, good luck being picked in front of the refugees/boat people, the drunks/druggies/bogans, the elderly and parents with kids (kids being the key difference between childless couples, friends or single people who are the last to be chosen); I've been on the waiting list since 2004 and I'm still stuck in this uninsulated 2-bedroom glorified shed built in 1968.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
The other difference with London is that the London underground makes money.  If a thing makes money, its much easier to fund it than if it doesnt (like most other metros in the world).

I think that there needs to be a revision of how metros are funded.  One of the big things they reduce in a city is congestion (which is what provides the basis for existence for most metros), but there is no way that they are currently paid for this.  If you could work out some way of doing this, through perhaps taxing those who create congestion (i.e. cars), then you could possibly change the financial profitability of a metro and lead to something that is more easily able to fund its own operations.

Lots of research to do before you get this in place though.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Lots of research to do before you get this in place though.
"james.au"
Uh, oh; here come the highly paid consultants.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Its not consultants that do this - its in the realms of academia that this needs to start being solved.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Its not consultants that do this - its in the realms of academia that this needs to start being solved.
"james.au"
Hey! Quit talking common sense - that's not the way things work in this State.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Not only that, most housing commission flats/units (let's forget that the old Collingwood style high rises exist for now) are life-expired and/or borderline derelict, have no air conditioning, minimal insulation (if any) and next to no soundproofing.
Heihachi_73
In relation to the inner-Melbourne high-rises, they've had a significant dilemma with what to do with them ever since they mushroomed up in the sixties. Jeff was going to privatise many of them before he lost office in 1999 - especially the ones in prime locations like Williamstown. Since then there have been various proposals to to put in public/private rebuilds but apart from Flemington and Carlton (where the results were mixed) they haven't proceeded. Napthine went through the motions of a 'consultation' to potentially demolish the worst ones in Collingwood and Richmond but never got around to it (like most things he never got around to). My understanding is that Andrews has now decided to leave things as they are because despite their problems the buildings themselves are still fairly sound and have recently been upgraded with better insulation - and there's also a well-organised community based opposition to moving those people out because they will almost certainly end up on the fringes with almost no services or access to jobs.

Things are more advanced in Sydney: In NSW they have managed to kick the poor out of areas like the Rocks and Surrey Hills where they were occupying prime real estate on the pretence of "helping them" move to places like Penrith where their lives will be much better (I'm sure!); Baird is also proceeding with a full privatisation of the housing and the service although what the final result will look like is anyone's guess. My assumption is that will ultimately mean the NSW government is bowing out of any social housing provision full-stop and central Sydney will only be for the people who can afford the big $$$ that it costs to live there.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Well, not quite... I know that Don really dislikes Jeff Kennett in a quite fierce way, but he's not managed to be entirely accurate. I doubt there are any written references from a reliable source that state that his government wanted to sell the high rise tower blocks.

The blocks themselves couldn't ever appeal to private buyers as they have very low ceilings, don't have enough lifts, and lots of other things that make them essentially unusable as anything other than Housing Commission flats. However the former government did demolish one high rise block that had concrete cancer (in Kensington, I think). They also demolished some of the 3 story 'walk up' blocks, which seem to be especially vulnerable to the harsh wear and tear that Commission flats are subject to.

What the Kennett government did do was to try and effectively de-ghettoise the larger Housing Commission estates by introducing a concept of mixed housing, a policy continued right up to today by governments of both political flavours. This comprised building new flats that were a mix of privately owned and Commission owned on vacant sites in Commission estates, often the former locations of the 3 storey walk up flats.

You can see the results of this on both Housing Commission estates in Carlton, while the taller towers have been retained by the Commission, new low rise flats have been built with the aforementioned mix of publicly and privately owned flats. There is even a geriatric home owned by Australian Unity (a non profit outfit) on one of the estates.

While all this didn't exactly make those high rise commission estates safe and pleasant places to visit, it has partially succeeded in de-ghettoising them and are much less dangerous places than they were 20 years ago.
  woodford Chief Commissioner



The trouble is that politicians are only willing to spend money on big ticket items that feed their ego. The Melbourne Metro is going to be a new railway grafted on a creaking old commuter network. The existing system should be fixed first.

Michael
"mejhammers1"


We do not live in a dictatorship or an oligarchy we live in a democracy, what ever happens is NOT THE GOVERNMENTS FAULT, its OUR fault for letting them do these things. The party system in Australia has arranged things nicely so as to keep the public at arms length, this is STILL though OUR problem, NOT SOMEONE ELSE'S PROBLEM.

Everyone needs to stop and think about what they REALLY would like and what sacrifices they must make for us to have a truly long term livable city, if we do not do this we are doomed.

By the way Toronto's metro areas population density is twice that of Greater Melbourne, Totonto having a larger population in a significantly smaller area. I cannot at this stage say anything of its public transport system a I am not familiar with it. At first glance over all it appears to be simpler even with its subway system compared to Melbournes train and tram systems.

woodford
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
When will you be leading the revolution, woodford?
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Well, not quite... I know that Don really dislikes Jeff Kennett in a quite fierce way, but he's not managed to be entirely accurate.
Bogong
Why do you always presume I have it in for people like Jeff? I hate them all equally.
I doubt there are any written references from a reliable source that state that his government wanted to sell the high rise tower blocks.
Bogong
Given that the water authorities were already on the block and Jeff had a history of privatisation that was next to none, I think it's reasonable to assume the rumours about Williamstown and South Yarra estates were true. It was only the ones in prime locations that were being considered; the Williamstown ones have absolutely stunning views of the city and the Westgate and part of the reason why developers were so keen was because private high rises of that scale are not being permitted in that area.

What you say about the low ceilings is true but remediation wouldn't be that difficult (eg three flats into two larger ones possibly with mezzanine areas); it wouldn't be impossible to make them more attractive to private buyers while maintaining the overall integrity of the building - perhaps reserving the lower floors for 'social housing'.

Incidentally on the Carlton redeveloped estate I think you'll find that there's 8-foot concrete walls between the public and private segments of the estates - the developers insisted on it. It's not a true integration of public and private.
  Clyde Goodwin Junior Train Controller

You wanna know the problem with Melbourne

- Old outdated signalling
- Flinders needs a major upgrade
- We need another 100 new Xtrapolis Trains
- Siemens Trains need to be used more, two are stabled at Brighton every weekend and never get used
- We need a Doncaster Rail
- Comengs should have been gone 5 years ago
- We need an Airport Rail
- We need a Rowville Line via Melbourne University
- Trams are outdated could do with another 200 E Class
- Busses are infrequent
- Melton Line needs electrification
- Stony Point Line needs electrification
- No Train To Chadstone
- Myki is a joke, we need a tourist card for tourists coming to a Melbourne

I haven't even mentioned how we don't even fund Schools, Hospitals and that our Transport System is so screwed it's not funny

Oh The Worlds Most Liveable City. Well an Average House Price of 1.3 in 3 years time welll welll I might have to live in a commission flat, estate or in Broadmeadows or Kannanook


where will the money come from
SandyUser17
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen


The trouble is that politicians are only willing to spend money on big ticket items that feed their ego. The Melbourne Metro is going to be a new railway grafted on a creaking old commuter network. The existing system should be fixed first.

MichaelWe do not live in a dictatorship or an oligarchy we live in a democracy, what ever happens is NOT THE GOVERNMENTS FAULT, its OUR fault for letting them do these things. The party system in Australia has arranged things nicely so as to keep the public at arms length, this is STILL though OUR problem, NOT SOMEONE ELSE'S PROBLEM.

woodford
woodford
Of course it's our fault for letting them do these things, and for electing them in the first place.  Trouble is, it can be anything up to four years later before we can stop them at the ballot box from doing more of the same.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
The other difference with London is that the London underground makes money.  If a thing makes money, its much easier to fund it than if it doesnt (like most other metros in the world).

I think that there needs to be a revision of how metros are funded.  One of the big things they reduce in a city is congestion (which is what provides the basis for existence for most metros), but there is no way that they are currently paid for this.  If you could work out some way of doing this, through perhaps taxing those who create congestion (i.e. cars), then you could possibly change the financial profitability of a metro and lead to something that is more easily able to fund its own operations.

Lots of research to do before you get this in place though.
james.au
No the London Underground does not return a profit. Rather fares cover 92% of Operating Expenditure so that most of the money that is provided by TfL and Central Government goes into Capital Expenditure. In contrast Victoria fares cover just 20% of Operational expenditure. Another thing that we differ from London is that Melbourne has a Commuter Rail system, London has a Metro (London Underground as well as Commuter Rail). The nearest to a Metro we have in this country is the Sydney Rail Network. Melbourne is nowhere near it and will not be even when the Melb Metro is finally built.

Michael
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
@mejhammers1 - source please?  I have some reading to do it seems.
  beanzs27 Assistant Commissioner

Compared to Canadian cities Melbourne as a much better public transport service with Vline complimenting further out. I have personally caught trains in Toronto. Essentially they have one east west line that runs all day from west suburbs through Torontoto to eastern suburbs, essentially following the lakeshore. There is also a few services timed to run into Toronto in the morning and leave in the afternoon to suburbs in the north.
Hamilton a city similar distance as Geelong if not closer has only a few services a day.

If you compare Melbourne to European cities then we will fall behind but to North American cities, Melbourne compares well and Vline is much better than any regional services in North America.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

No argument with that at all. And I am not saying we should have a Transport system of that of London. It is all relative for London's rail networks are far far larger and much. much more complex than ours. In the Greater London Area there would be nearly 700 Stations to our 240 odd. Toronto has a pop and density similar to that of Melbourne, but their transport system is way better than ours. Simply saying that London has more money than Melbourne is simplistic. It takes political will as well. London's Public Transport was a piece of crap during the Thatcher Years. Indeed London's PT only got better when the then Labour Government set up Transport for London. An agency with real authority not that PTV joke that we have here.

The trouble is that politicians are only willing to spend money on big ticket items that feed their ego. The Melbourne Metro is going to be a new railway grafted on a creaking old commuter network. The existing system should be fixed first.

Michael
mejhammers1

I would suggest that the new metro can provide a significant help to the creaking metro system in Melbourne. At the very least people will know where the train is going along this line. Several times while visiting Melbourne I have boarded a train supposedly going to where I need at Flinders street station only for it's destination to be changed and I end up somewhere not where I wanted to go.

Having said that there can be no doubt that the metro system is pathetic and in desperate need of maintenance of any sort. The track and overhead quality is abysmal and the amount of issues that you have on hot days are incredible.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: doyle, james.au, mrmoopt, Nightfire

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.