How Did Brisbane Get it’s Busways? Findings of a study into mode-choice decision-making in Brisbane
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How did Brisbane get its busways? And what does this experience tell us about mode-choice decision-making in Australian cities? This paper reports on the processes and decisions taken to introduce bus rapid transport (BRT) into Brisbane in the 1990s and the styles of planning involved. Using theoretical frameworks provided by Innes and Gruber, Forrester and other planning theorists, different 'planning styles' are identified. These concepts were used and tested in the case of the South East Busway, Brisbane's first and very successful introduction of BRT. The research involved archival reviews of reports, plans and media articles showing the development and adoption of busways in Brisbane, and a set of interviews with politicians, state and local government bureaucrats and consultants involved with the decision and a key independent observer who was critical of the project at the time. The results suggest that Brisbane may never have adopted BRT without a clear political champion in Brisbane City Council, who intuitively adopted BRT as a 'solution' for Brisbane and who directed a strong bureaucratic effort to co-opt and win support from others including the then Queensland Transport Minister. Technical-rational analyses were used only to help support pre-determined positions, not to provide mode comparison and assessment for a later mode selection decision. There was no real community social movement supporting the move, and no collaborative planning involved. The results highlight how during recent decades planners have shifted away from traditional technical/analytical roles and are nowadays more facilitators between stakeholders in the transport decision-making process. Key words: BRT, busways, Brisbane, mode selection, transport planning
Australasian Transport Research Forum 2013 Proceedings
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