Very Public Solution
Why is public transport so poor in Australian cities? Why can't it be more like the fast, convenient systems in Europe?
Unlike Europeans, most urban Australians live on far-flung suburban blocks rather than in high-density apartments. Most urban travel is to widespread suburban locations rather than to the city centre. It is often argued that fast, efficient public transport is impossible in our 'dispersed' cities.
In A Very Public Solution, Paul Mees compares Melbourne's public transport system with the highly successful system in Toronto; a 'dispersed' city very like Melbourne with its suburban sprawl, and sheds new light on a century-old debate.
This debate is particularly important now, as 'economic rationalists' move to privatise public transport in Australian cities. We can have European-style public transport, Mees argues, if our different forms of public transport stop competing with each other and start competing with the car.
A Very Public Solution is the first serious work on public transport planning ever published in Australia. It is essential reading for everyone concerned with urban sustainability and our growing traffic problems.