Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies

Transport Policy in Large Cities: From Mediocrity to Mentor

John Morandini, Author of "Watch the Road"

5th Mar 2013  11:00 am - Lecture Theatre 2 (Room 112), Level 1, St James Campus, The University of Sydney, 173-175 Phillip Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

Abstract: Traffic congestion is progressively worsening and spreading along urban and interurban corridors, and the official prognosis is that delays will only continue to get worse in large cities globally.

Contemporary responses are unable to turn the situation around, giving rise to the question: What else can be done to better resolve traffic congestion and public transport issues in a timely, affordable and sustainable way?

Roads are the dominant transport infrastructure worldwide by a huge margin and it emerges that roads have the potential to be the solution rather than the problem; and they are pivotal not peripheral to successful public transport.

A Sydney transit scenario is explored, with extraordinary possibilities unfolding over a decade, including a reduction in car travel and an increase in metro-wide transit capacity and use. Success hinges on ramping up bus service networks, so comprehensively as to halt congestion growth and free up sufficient road space on the existing road system to run the services efficiently. 

In essence, rather than a preoccupation with what billion-dollar rail line or roadway to build next, the focus in coming decades ought to be on how to use the existing trillion-dollar road infrastructure more efficiently.

Although everyday precedents have yet to be implemented, transport strategies for very large events, especially the Olympic Games, have already demonstrated full-scale variants of the concept and of the planning and decision making involved. These experiences leave valuable legacies for everyday transport operations in large cities.

The concept presented here is detailed in an eBook written by John Morandini: 'Watch the Road: Solving Transport Issues in Sprawling Cities: Sooner Rather than Later'. Visit for more.

Bio: John Morandini has a lifetime of experience working on urban development policies, plans, projects, services and infrastructure, in various public authorities (including Transport New South Wales, Olympic Coordination Authority, Olympic Roads and Transport Authority, Premier's Department, Public Works Department and Dubbo City Council).

He started out as a project engineer, held senior management positions, worked as a policy advisor to a former Deputy Premier and to the Minister for the Olympics, and served on many forums, including as Chairman of the NSW Air Transport Council and NSW representative on a number of State-Commonwealth working groups.

His long career revolved around the areas of urban roads and public transport, aviation services, urban master planning, land rehabilitation and redevelopment, event management, freight transport, airports, ports, transport security, water conservation and town and country utility services.

This pathway offered insights into the strengths and weaknesses of decision making and the potential opportunities available for improving urban services. 

Based on these experiences and his belief that urban transport planning and policy making in particular need rethinking, he has written an eBook titled: 'Watch the Road: Solving Transport Issues in Sprawling Cities: Sooner Rather than Later', published by Australian eBook Publisher in June 2012.

John holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering with Honours and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of New South Wales, Sydney.