Performance Indicator: 30-minute city

Link: Jobs, education and housing Performance Indicator
30-minute city Performance Indicator
Link: Walkable places Performance Indicator
Link: Addressing urban heat Performance Indicator

Purpose

This indicator measures the proportion of residents able to reach their nearest metropolitan centre/cluster or strategic centre using public transport and/or walking within 30 minutes.

Goal

The goal is to improve connectivity within and between the three cities.

Measures

Percentage of dwellings within 30 minutes of the nearest metropolitan and strategic centre using the public transport network and/or walking during the morning peak.

Focusing on the connections between where people live and where they work underpins the idea of a 30-minute city, which considers 30-minute access for residents:

  • in each of the three cities to their nearest metropolitan centre/cluster by public and active transport1
  • in each of the five districts to their nearest strategic centre by public and active transport seven days a week.2

The 30-minute city vision responds to the projected increase in the number of journeys each day (36 per cent) in Greater Sydney to 15 million trips a day by 20363. In 2016, 50 per cent of all Greater Sydney jobs were in metropolitan and strategic centres4 highlighting the importance of connections to centres. Beyond connecting people to jobs, services and opportunities, the 30-minute city will help to lower greenhouse gas emissions5, and boost economic competitiveness by creating a more attractive place for investment, businesses and skilled workers6.

Metropolitan centres provide a concentration of knowledge jobs and a wide range of goods and services. The metropolitan centres of Greater Sydney comprise the Harbour CBD (which includes North Sydney CBD), Greater Parramatta and the Western City metropolitan cluster of Liverpool, Greater Penrith, Campbelltown-Macarthur and the planned Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis.

Strategic centres have a mix of land uses including commercial and residential, high levels of private investment and are accessible by walking and cycling. There are 34 strategic centres across Greater Sydney.7

Measures

Network Capability Tool

There are different ways to measure whether Greater Sydney is a 30-minute city. A new Network Capability Tool is being developed by Transport for NSW. Using public transport timetables, it calculates 30-minute travel based on current infrastructure and service provision by public transport and/or walking (see figure below).

The tool demonstrates the proportion of dwellings in each district from which residents can reach their nearest metropolitan or strategic centre within 30 minutes. This includes dwellings from which at least one public transport trip will enable the resident to reach a relevant centre within 30 minutes during the morning peak.

The travel time includes assumptions about walking time from each dwelling to a transit stop. Where the trip requires interchange, walking transfer and wait times between trips are included. It also includes walking trips of up to 30 minutes.

The tool tests 6–10am and 7–9am peaks with and without a three-minute waiting time at the first stop. The tool is also being developed to allow detailed analysis at a local level to better measure public transport trips.

As the current tool is under development and uses a different methodology, at this stage we are unable to compare its findings to figures published in Future Transport 2056, which used Transport for NSW’s strategic transport model.

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Transport for NSW Network Capability Tool assumptions for 30-minute access

Transport for NSW Network Capability Tool assumptions for 30-minute access8

Download this image v3_30_min_city_graphic.png (format PNG / 322 KB)

30-minute access to metropolitan centres/cluster

Using the Network Capability Tool, in 2018, 62 per cent of dwellings in Greater Sydney are located such that residents had access to a timetabled public transport service that arrived within 30 minutes at a metropolitan centre/cluster during the morning peak between 6–10 am (see figure below). The following figure demonstrates how this measure changes when assumptions such as wait time and hour of travel are altered.

In the Eastern City District, 91 per cent of dwellings are located such that residents can access a metropolitan centre by public transport in 30 minutes. In the Western City and Central City districts this is approximately 70 per cent. In North and South districts these proportions are 42 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

dwellings_located_within_30_minutes.png

Percentage of dwellings located within 30 minutes of a metropolitan centre or cluster using the Network Capability Tool (6 – 10am) 2018

Percentage of dwellings located within 30 minutes of a metropolitan centre or cluster using the Network Capability Tool (6 – 10am) 20189

Download this image dwellings_located_within_30_minutes.png (format PNG / 61 KB)

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Percentage of dwellings located within 30-minutes of a metropolitan centre or cluster using the Network Capability Tool with various assumptions 2018

Percentage of dwellings located within 30-minutes of a metropolitan centre or cluster using the Network Capability Tool with various assumptions 201810

Download this image pulse_charts_x7_figure_9-09.png (format PNG / 26 KB)

30-minute access to metropolitan and strategic centres

When strategic centres are also included, 95 per cent of dwellings in Greater Sydney are located with access to a timetabled public transport service in 2018 that arrived within 30 minutes during the morning peak between 6–10am. This includes dwellings where people can walk to the centre within 30 minutes (see figure below).

Notably, the Western City District, at 84 per cent, has the lowest capability for 30-minute access to a metropolitan or strategic centre using current infrastructure and services.

percentage_of_dwellings_6-10am.png

Percentage of dwellings located within 30-minutes of a metropolitan or strategic centre using the Network Capability Tool (6–10am) 2018

Percentage of dwellings located within 30-minutes of a metropolitan or strategic centre using the Network Capability Tool (6–10am) 201811

Download this image percentage_of_dwellings_6-10am.png (format PNG / 59 KB)

Findings and future focus

Under the current Network Capability Tool, 30-minute access to metropolitan centres/cluster varies greatly during 6–10am the morning peak. However, accessibility improves significantly when this is expanded to include access to strategic centres.

To improve our understanding of connectivity across Greater Sydney more work is required to further analyse a wider range of data (for example services and timetables) and inputs (for example travel preferences).

A challenge of the current tool is that whilst it shows high levels of 30-minute access in many of the districts to both metropolitan and strategic centres it does not account for limited frequency of service during the period measured nor does it relate to the customer experience. This means important factors, such as infrequent services and delays during these peak periods are not yet captured in the analysis.

The tool also reveals the importance of integrating land use and transport in the metropolis. For example, the North District has a low level of 30-minute access to a metropolitan centre, but a high level of access when it includes strategic centres that contain some of the Region’s highest concentrations of employment - such as Macquarie Park and Chatswood – which emphasise the District’s high level of job containment. In a similar way, there is a low level of 30-minute access to a metropolitan centre for the South District but high level of access to high employment areas such as Sydney Airport / Mascot.

Travel related to social and recreation trips also requires consideration. Metropolitan and strategic centres contain significant retail and recreation / entertainment venues, where accessibility may be important at times outside of workday peaks and on weekends.

It is also valuable to develop a more detailed precinct-level analysis. This would include the travel experience, destinations and purpose of travel, as well as examination of the reliability, capacity and accessibility of timetabled services.

References

  1. Transport for NSW Greater Sydney Services and Infrastructure Plan pp 33
  2. Transport for NSW Greater Sydney Services and Infrastructure Plan pp 7 and 10
  3. Future Transport 2056 - Sustainability pp 28
  4. Source: See Dashboard – Jobs and skills for the city: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2016. POW Place of Work.
  5. A Metropolis of Three Cities – Sustainability Context pp 147
  6. A Metropolis of Three Cities – Productivity Context pp 80
  7. A Metropolis of Three Cities – Table 4 pp 122
  8. Source: Transport for NSW
  9. Source: Transport for NSW
  10. Source: Transport for NSW
  11. Source: Transport for NSW

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