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Australia’s future transport and mobility environment

future transport and mobility environment
Photo by Alex Smith on Unsplash

iMOVE Australia held another in their series of Transport of Tomorrow Online webinars, Our future transport mobility environment: An integrated approach. With speakers from ARRB, Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland) and ITS Australia, it covers work from an in-progress iMOVE project, Conceptual architecture for future transport and mobility environment.

The webinar was moderated by iMOVE MD Ian Christensen, and the speaker line-up was:

  • Dr Charles Karl, National Technical Leader for Congestion, Freight and Mobility, ARRB
  • Ishra Baksh, Executive Director (MaaS program Management Office), Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland)
  • Susan Harris, CEO, ITS Australia


Please find below a video of the webinar. The presentation by Dr Karl comprises about 20 minutes, and the remaining 40 minutes or so is the Q&A session, involving all speakers.

The project

As mentioned above, the webinar broaches topic and progress from an ongoing iMOVE project. The top line of that project is:

Transport and mobility management involves a combination of people, processes, systems and technology. With significant changes occurring in technology and mobility services, there is an opportunity and need to capture the current paradigm and plan for the emerging future transport and mobility environment.

From the work researchers will compile a conceptual architecture for a future transport and mobility environment and to propose a program to further work to address the gaps and development required to meet the needs for the future.

Webinar major points

You’ll note the term significant change mentioned above. When the project was in formation the sort of change in mind was technology change, data collection and sharing, new transport modes, new transport providers, and so on. In the meantime change has hit the world in an unexpected and big way – the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the matter of transport and the pandemic, the key matters discussed by the webinar panel were that now more than ever we need to be flexible and agile in our transport services. TMR’s Ishra Baksh emphasised this, noting that right now, ‘Every day is different!’

Asked how transport might best recover from the pandemic, Susan Harris said that not only do we need to make people feels safe and comfortable on public transport, but that we ‘… also need to send clear messaging to the public on how to use the services safely.’

Charles Karl noted that, ‘We know for certain that life will be different for all us is, but we don’t know exactly how yet. There will be huge opportunities for government and transport providers …’, and that transport customers are more likely to experiment with what they do, how they do it, and how they travel.

Other matters covered were the change of transport from silos of services and systems to an ever-growing connectedness, and how best to encourage and manage new operators, providers and partnerships.

And while we may welcome new participants into transport systems, there remains an important role for government to play. For one, the way it works policy levers to encourage participation, incentivising uptake by providers and customers, and ensuring that networks are environmentally and economically efficient. Government involvement will be ‘… the glue that puts elements together in the right way,’ said Ishra Baksh.

And that right way must include an equity of access for all, and trust in data collection and use, both by organisations sharing data, and by customers providing theirs.

Also covered was the need for harmonisation of standards, the biggest drivers of change, rethinking the role of government, Mobility as a Service, and freight and the movement of goods.
Download Dr Charles Karl’s slidedeck

Dr Karl has kindly made his slide deck available. Just click the button below for a copy.


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