Rebecca Lehman
Director, Transport Planning
Frank Turquoise Group, Brisbane

New South Wales is experiencing population growth and rising property values. To meet the community's educational needs, vertical public schools can intensify school development at existing Sydney Metropolitan school sites. Amplifying schools will lead to higher travel demand. As daily car travel already places pressure on road networks, existing active and public transport networks must work harder just to accommodate the current mode share to school. To reduce their impact, vertical schools must achieve a higher rate of travel by “traditional” transport modes: walking, bicycle riding, carpooling and public transport.

School travel demand, transport infrastructure, operational considerations and the sustainable transport calculator were tested on five NSW schools. The calculator assesses the potential mode share to school and guides the selection of site-specific policies, programs, and internal/external infrastructure to implement. The catchment mapping process identifies “low-hanging fruit” transport, which can be promoted right away, and shows missing infrastructure links in a legible graphic, which can be rectified through partnerships with government agencies.

Analyzing government transport infrastructure and operational plans, grants and strategies for school precincts—including pedestrian access and mobility studies, bicycle plans, integrated transport strategies and timetables, area traffic management plans, sustainability plans, parking plans, and Safe Routes to School programs—this process helped delivery teams understand the ramifications of policy settings, infrastructure and program implementation. With further testing, the concept has potential to foster collaboration across departmental and jurisdictional boundaries. The potential benefits include improved transport and health outcomes.