Does Brisbane have the best transport system in Australia?

Brisbane has the best transport system in Australia, according to a surprising report.

Despite the impact of the “Rail Fail’’ crisis in disrupting the region’s train services, and concern about growing road gridlock, the Queensland capital has outranked Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, and Perth.

The Sustainable Cities Mobility Index, compiled by global design and consultancy firm Arcadis, puts Brisbane at number 48 overall in an assessment of 100 of the world’s growing centres.

“These results are very strong for Brisbane,’’ Dr Louisa Carter, Arcadis city executive for southeast Queensland, said.

“Brisbane is the lifestyle capital of Australia and we can now also boast we are also the sustainable transport capital.”

Dr Carter said the result made the city more competitive in attracting economic investment and knowledge workers.

The report, which looks at public transport, active travel such as cycling and road transport, rated Brisbane well on maintaining its quality of life.

And Dr Carter said we were on the threshold of “a one in a 100 year investment cycle” with projects including Cross River Rail, the Brisbane Metro network and European Train Control System to improve rail efficiency. “These are very exciting times,” she said.

The report added that Brisbane could learn from Amsterdam where the average commute had been cut to less than half an hour by prioritising cycling, creating capacity on trains and trams, and using tunnels for road and rail projects.

The index, which ranks each city on 23 measurements across social, environmental and economic indicators, said the use of public transport, cycling and walking was low by international standards.

Dr Carter said that might reflect commuter’s experiences but the best way to improve public transport was to use it more and attract more investment in it.

A lack of underground metro systems and dependence on private vehicles kept Australian cities around the middle of the rankings or lower, the report said.

Hong Kong was number one worldwide. The report said its “well-organised, modern and efficiently funded” metro system encouraged mobility, “creating economic opportunity and enriching the lives of citizens, businesses and tourists”.

It was followed by Zurich and Paris, with European cities dominating the top 20.

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