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Centrality and connectivity in public transport networks and their significance for transport sustainability in cities

Scheurer, Jan and Porta, Sergio (2006) Centrality and connectivity in public transport networks and their significance for transport sustainability in cities. In: World Planning Schools Congress, Global Planning Association Education Network,, 2006-07-13 - 2006-07-16.

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Abstract

The promotion of public transport as a backbone of mobility in urban agglomerations, or at least as an alternative to the dominance of the automobile, has become a prominent policy focus in most large cities around the world. However, while some cities have been successful in shifting car journeys onto rail and buses, others are struggling despite considerable effort to make public transport more attractive. This paper provides a brief overview of success factors for public transport and then takes the configuration of public transport networks as a vantage point for policy evaluation. The development of centrality and connectivity indicators for the public transport network of Melbourne's north-eastern suburbs delivers an instrument for assessing the congruence of the systems with the geographical structure of central areas and urban activities in these cities. It is hypothesised that a higher number of convenient transfer points and a choice of routes to users (network connectivity), as well as a high degree of spatial overlap and integration between public transport infrastructure and urban activity centres and corridors (centrality of facilities) will lead to a greater role for public transport in the mobility patterns of the city as a whole.