Please note that the Science Party identifies transportation as a priority area for further research investment, to identify the most efficient ways to move people from one place to another.
1. Driverless Cars
1.1. Policy: Legalise driverless cars in Australia.
1.2. Discussion: The Science Party believes that driverless cars, trucks and public transportation should be legalised in Australia as part of a testing program, with aims to introduce driverless cars as regular items on the road as soon as is practical and safe. Driverless cars have the potential to reduce collisions and hence cut road related mortality. Driverless cars can also drive more efficiently, find quicker routes, prevent intoxicated driving, increase the mobility of people who cannot drive due to disability or age (both young and old). Driverless cars also allow the driver to utilise the time that they would have spent driving for recreation, or to perform work tasks while driving. The introduction of driverless cars will herald a new era of car sharing. One car can be shared by multiple people, picking up one person at 8am and dropping them off at 8:15. Rather than standing idle for 8 hours like a regular car, a driverless car could then travel to another suburb by itself to pick someone else up at 8:30. Driverless cars can help make individual transportation faster and easier, all while reducing waste and increasing utilisation of existing infrastructure.
2. High Speed Rail
2.1. Policy: Creation of a high-speed rail-link running from Brisbane to Sydney to Canberra to Melbourne.
2.2. Discussion: The creation of the high speed rail-link will occur in several stages, as distance and population size will determine feasibility. Construction will initially be built from Sydney to Newcastle, then from Sydney to Canberra, then from Canberra to Melbourne, then from Newcastle to Brisbane. Importantly, this system will be designed such that no change in trains is necessary between these five cities, and travellers will be delivered directly to the centre of the city, which will greatly reduce travel times.
3. Optimise Existing Transport Infrastructure
3.1. Policy: Optimise existing transportation infrastructure to decrease travel/transport times, by targeted expenditure to reduce bottlenecks and hence increase capacity.
3.2. Discussion: The Science Party believes that optimising the transportation system is critical to improving efficiency in the economy. The easier and quicker it is for goods and workers to move around, the more agile the economy is to change. For example, a local layoff is less likely to affect workers severely if alternate work is within commutable distance. Faster transportation also means a reduction in wasted time driving, and therefore more time enjoying life outside of work. For example, the current commute time in Sydney averages 34.3 minutes each way (http://www.bts.nsw.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/112/BR2012_04_transport_facts.pdf.aspx). By reducing travel time by 30%, Sydneysiders would gain approximately 82.3 additional hours per year in leisure time. Based on 16 hours of awake time per day, this is the equivalent of the addition of more than 5.1 days of leave every year.
4. Additional Rail in Cities
4.1. Policy: The Science Party also supports the creation additional train lines through suburban areas currently devoid of any train stations. Extension of current cities into new areas should be accompanied by sufficient public transport infrastructure.
4.2. Discussion: Currently, suburban development on city fringes rely almost solely on buses that may need to travel up to 40 mins to the nearest rail line. This situation is unacceptable, as such systems actively discourage public transport use and cause increases in car congestion in the rest of the city.
Train lines give an assurance as to the on going provision of public transportation services to an area, allowing local services and town centres to build up around them.