RailSmart launches commuter survey to guide development around Yanchep rail extension

Ben Cooper-Woolley speaking at the RailSmart demonstration.
Ben Cooper-Woolley speaking at the RailSmart demonstration.

RESEARCHERS for the RailSmart Project are seeking input from City of Wanneroo residents in a survey linked to the Metronet rail extension to Yanchep.

Residents have until December to do the RailSmart Transport Sharing Survey online, which will help researchers understand community trends towards transport sharing and how other modes of transport can be used to help residents access places they want to go.

RailSmart Planning Wanneroo researchers, representatives from the City and Transport Department and consultants from Arup met at UWA last month to preview the initial design of RailSmart’s dashboard and system architecture.

It will provide planners and developers with an evidence-based modelling system to help inform developments surrounding train station precincts and the surrounding areas.

Planning and Transport Research Centre (PATREC) research fellow and project manager Linda Robson said researchers were putting together a slew of data sources using five existing PATREC models.

“We’re analysing Perth metro area using all of these statistics and models which we’ve already produced,” she said.

“Once we’ve run it for Perth metro, we want to select the indicators so that we can predict what it means for application to new areas – which would be the Wanneroo area.

“The way we want to present this is an interactive dashboard, so that people can ask ‘If I did this, what are the trends around Perth?’.”

Dr Robson said the biggest shortfall with transport was how people got to and from the station at the suburban end.

“Once you’re on the train and you’re going to Perth, it works beautifully,” she said.

“The problem is the getting from your house to the train part.

“Looking at options of ride-sharing and change of mode and looking at various options of trying to get populations into other modes of getting to the station – and we’re doing that via survey and background literature.”

PATREC research associate Tristan Reed talked about the first model integrated into the RailSmart platform, an accessibility tool developed by research fellow Yuchau Sun.

Mr Reed said it calculated time taken to travel, analysing that to rank each zone in terms of accessibility to population, dwellings and employment relative to other parts of Perth.

He said jobs were concentrated in strategic hubs, so even though there might be low accessibility to a lot of Perth by public transport, there might be high accessibility to strategic hubs where there were jobs.

Arup’s digital advisory leader Ben Cooper-Woolley presented the RailSmart platform system architecture and gave a demonstration of the initial dashboard.

Mr Cooper-Woolley said the platform, which analysed public data such as Census statistics and TransPerth schedules, would evolve over time and help inform planning decisions.

“What we’re aiming to do is put together a proof of concept to demonstrate value back to the Federal Government,” he said.

“It’s around how do we provide a scalable software platform for Perth to better plan, understand and take advantage of the significant infrastructure spending that’s going on at the moment, both now and in the immediacy around the Yanchep rail extension, and beyond.”

The next demonstration for the Federally-funded RailSmart project is planned for November.

To access the RailSmart Transport Sharing Survey, visit www.railsmartwa.net.au/railsmart-transport-sharing-survey/ .