Department of Transport and Planning - Future Directions

The way Victorians are moving is changing.

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That’s why we have developed new strategic directions for our transport system. The six directions set out what is important for us to do now to shape the transport system so that it meets the needs of the people that use it now and in the future.

The directions will help us move towards achieving the legislated objectives in the Transport Integration Act, which informs our vision for an integrated and sustainable transport system that contributes to an inclusive, prosperous and environmentally responsible state.

Victoria’s Big Build is creating a pipeline of work that provides long-term jobs for Victorians working directly on infrastructure projects as well as the wider supply chain, with every 100 jobs on the Big Build delivering an average of around 200 jobs across the economy.

To maintain Victoria’s liveability and manage competing demands, we are also planning for the sustainable future of our freight sector, putting more freight on rail so we have less traffic on local streets. We are delivering a better future for our state’s transport system: embracing new technology, upgrading roads and rail corridors, adding additional services and creating new jobs to grow the economy.

Our strategic directions for transport will make the most of emerging opportunities while tackling challenges in new ways. They help us understand how current and future transport initiatives will work together to make the most of existing infrastructure, new technology and services for the benefit of all Victorians.

Challenges we face

The strategic directions help us respond to key challenges facing our transport system.

Our population is projected to keep growing at a fast pace.

Victoria’s population growth means increases in the number of trips on the transport network. More people produce and consume more things, so freight trips increase too.

While restrictions on immigration and movements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have affected the overall population in Victoria, high levels of growth are predicted to return, meaning only a temporary delay in population growth of around one to two years.

High predicted population growth is paralleled by economic, environmental and demographic changes across the state. We need to plan a transport system that can connect future areas of population growth to jobs and services.

Victoria’s transport system needs to keep pace with this increased demand to make sure people and goods can get where they need to be in a timely, efficient and productive way.

A growing population and increasing urban density will drive the need to maximise the volume of freight moving on high-capacity road and rail links between vital logistics places. At the same time, we need to manage increasing volumes of deliveries within our growing urban areas.

Responding to these changes will require not only unprecedented investment in the network, but also smart ways of getting more out of what we already have and using policy levers and technology to manage demand and improve mobility.

How we work and live is rapidly changing

People are living and working differently, and this directly affects the trips people make. The economic landscape is changing in Victoria, with a move from large-scale manufacturing to specialist production and service-orientated industries. Together with the availability of new services enabled by mobile technology, these changes result in a shifting landscape of travel patterns and behaviours.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected how people work, and we expect more people to choose to work from home. Working from home means time previously spent commuting could instead be spent working, or better balancing work and home commitments.

For freight, there are also likely to be sustained changes to logistics and distribution models as more people continue to purchase goods and services online. We’ll be working with local governments and developing new, contemporary regulatory responses, as well as supporting lower-impact, smaller and more efficient electric vehicles.

Making changes to existing networks and services will be important to support new travel patterns, more local working and different freight movements.

Transport is undergoing a technology-led revolution

New technologies are being combined in new ways to deliver new transport services, which presents challenges but also opportunities for innovation.

The rapid uptake of rideshare services shows how new services based on a technology platform can quickly change how people travel. Mobile on-demand services such as Uber and Ola are now well established, and other services such as share e-bikes are becoming more readily available. Our transport system needs to be flexible as technology opens up new transport options beyond those traditionally provided by government.

We also need to identify and invest in technologies that can improve how people and freight move around our network. These include intelligent transport systems to manage intersections and help keep traffic moving, connected and autonomous vehicles, and more flexible, on-demand services. We’re preparing for a more automated freight supply chain and emerging tools that will make trucks and trains safer.

As we trial and pilot new ideas, we will work on new regulations supporting their rapid adoption.

Transitioning to net-zero carbon emissions and adapting to climate change

Victoria is committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Transport is Victoria’s second biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so a transition to environmentally sustainable transport will be vital to achieving this goal.

At the same time, global temperatures are increasing, making extreme weather events more frequent. Planning and delivering transport infrastructure and vehicles that are resilient to these changes will help maintain reliability and make our network more resistant to the effects of climate change.

Transport is critical in Victoria’s social and economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic

Victoria’s transport system is critical in supporting the economic and social recovery of our state.

Coronavirus has fundamentally shifted travel and freight demand and our transport system will need to change to reflect new travel patterns and community needs, and to capitalise on the many opportunities to use the transport sector to innovate and drive economic growth.

In the short term, supporting the economic and social recovery from coronavirus means providing safe, efficient and reliable transport. We’re working to deliver more choice and more services through non-infrastructure solutions, while balancing demand across different transport modes.

The transport sector is also important for economic recovery in its own right, providing opportunities for employment, investment and economic growth.