Experts don't know everything: Governance issues associated with transport and disadvantage
AuthorWear, Mr Andrew
Source TitleProceedings, Thredbo 10: The 10th International Conference on Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport
University of Melbourne Author/sWear, Andrew
AffiliationArts: Centre for Public Policy
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsWear, Mr Andrew (2007) Experts don't know everything: Governance issues associated with transport and disadvantage, in Proceedings, Thredbo 10: The 10th International Conference on Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport, Hamilton Island, Australia.
Access StatusOpen Access
Public transport planning in an urban context has a relatively straightforward objective: maximise public transport patronage, in order to minimise the economic costs of road traffic congestion and the environmental damage associated with particulate and greenhouse gas emissions. To a large extent, this can be addressed by ‘experts’ using a range of technical skills such as demand forecasting, service planning and contracting.However, rather than patronage growth or modal shift, the objective of public transport provision in rural and regional areas is usually to address social disadvantage.This objective is not effectively achieved using a rationalist ‘expert’ model of decision-making, as the relevant information and resources required to develop solutions are diffuse. Without reference to other sources of knowledge, traditional transport data will provide only limited capacity to determine where transport services are ‘needed’. The full suite of knowledge required to adequately address social disadvantage resides with local communities, networks, institutions and actors. It is the way this knowledge is harnessed that will ultimately determine the success of any strategy in addressing social disadvantage – governance is at the heart of any attempt to respond to social disadvantage.In rural transport, it is not just the knowledge that is diffuse. Rather the assets and other resources needed to implement the solutions are often beyond the control of government, and in the hands of autonomous actors driven by a range of motives. The local school bus might be under contract with the government, but the taxi service operates independently as a small business, the community buses are operated by local agencies, and volunteer transport depends on local goodwill. In Victoria, in an attempt to address transport disadvantage, radical new governance approaches have been trialled through the Transport Connections program. In this program, local partnerships w
KeywordsPublic transport governance rural partnerships social disadvantage social exclusion transport connections
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