Better transport. governance. outcomes.

Who we are

“Transport for Melbourne is a think tank and advocacy group of transport professionals whose mission is to promote an understanding of issues that Melbourne faces and how these can be better addressed.”
– Nicholas Low, President

Roger TaylorWelcome to the Transport for Melbourne web site
Many cities that have established themselves as models of best transport practice invariably achieve this by actively involving their citizens in the policy planning and development process. This web site has been developed to provide Victorians with an understanding of basic transport principles in simple language to enable them to better understand government policy and projects, to critically review them and perhaps engage with government. We believe this is vitally important if we are to achieve better transport outcomes for Victoria.
The site provides links to other organisations and research centres for people who wish to pursue/explore transport issues in more detail. It also includes links to transport advocacy groups for people who may wish to be more actively involved.
Roger Taylor, Chair

Transport for Melbourne was established in response to what was considered to be a transport crisis.  TfM argues that Melbourne needs to change its transport focus to address the major transport and city planning problems it has now. These are  fundamental problems of a systemic nature that have been ignored for decades.

TfM argues that Melbourne has enough infrastructure to meet its transport needs in the short term at least, but it is not managed as efficiently and effectively as it should and much of it is not maintained to a high enough standard.  Some infrastructure has become obsolete and clearly in need of replacement but this needs to be carried out strategically as part of an overall plan and will not be addressed by cherry picking major projects that have more to do with electoral appeal than a well thought out strategic plan.

It is critical that the existing system is brought up to speed before embarking on major investment to expand the network otherwise anticipated benefits will be limited by the systemic problems that continue to pervade the system as a whole.

TfM has outlined an alternative transport strategy for Melbourne and a Charter, which we would contend outlines community expectations and aspirations for Melbourne transport.  TfM is concerned that Melbourne has a closing window of opportunity in which to lay the foundations for a world class transport system but is squandering this opportunity by continuing to spend large amounts of money on large infrastructure projects that will do little to address long standing systemic problems.

  • Build collaboration with other stakeholders and advocacy groups
  • Secure and engage a coterie of “Friends of TfM”
  • Prepare and implement a marketing strategy and campaign to influence decision makers
  • Provide input to all government agency requests for submissions, where the TfM charter’s principles and approaches are relevant to improved outcomes

Forum round table
Wednesday 30 November 2022

Planning for Melbourne's Future

Latest articles

The Need to Do More with Less

Tightening economic conditions are now forcing the State government to make significant cuts in budget spending, review priorities and do more with less. This has created an opportunity for advocacy groups to create a new narrative and use it to encourage government to change its focus.

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There are limits to growth and these are being exceeded

Jacinta Allen said growth was to be celebrated. Our premier clearly does not understand that there are limits to growth. Growth is an unstable state – it is not possible to keep growing forever – there are limits to growth and sooner or later there will be the inevitable correction.

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We Need a New Freight Plan

Much of the freight carried in and out of Melbourne and throughout Victoria generally was once carried by rail. Most freight traffic today is transported by road, despite the fact that rail is potentially far more efficient from an energy perspective and generates significantly fewer greenhouse emissions per TKm. Estimated reductions vary considerably but according to some researchers can be up to 16 times less than road freight per tonne Km travelled (VAGO Effectiveness of Rail Freight Support Programs Tabled: 27 June 2023).

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Time to take the Politics out of Transport

Whilst building new infrastructure is important for the development of a modern transportation system, most of the critical work required to develop, operate, maintain and manage it is relatively mundane. It requires addressing many service issues, maintenance, safety, system efficiency including providing priority on roads for buses and trams, network design, timetabling, service integration and more.
Unfortunately transport planning and investment has become politicised. The focus today is on monumental works designed to suit political agendas which provide opportunities for political aggrandisement, designed to win votes, particularly in marginal electorates, which increasingly comes at the expense of essential work required to operate, maintain and manage the transport system.

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Climate Change to Sink Credit Rating

It seems that despite this warning (Shane Wright, The Age August 21) and a cascade of others supported by dramatic evidence of global warming and climate change (extreme weather, firestorms, loss of biodiversity and species loss) and the impact this is having on communities and their ability to maintain a liveable existence, the need for radical change in city and transport planning continues to fall on deaf ears.

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