August 14 2013

Why Rail is Imperative for Melbourne’s International Airport Linkages

As major cities around Australia and the world have acted on the growth of their cities and airports’ patronage by installing high-volume contemporary public transport services, the world’s most liveable city’s airport has stood still. As Sydney Airport constructed a rail system as the Olympics approached, Melbourne has failed to canvass any such plans whilst announcing that a new terminal will be constructed by 2015 that will service more than 10 millon passengers.

Melbourne Airport services over 30 million passengers per year.

The reasons behind the state government’s inability to address the issue depends on who you talk to. Some may say that they heard a whisper that the freeway ‘Citylink,’ that was developed in the early 2000’s as a ways to minimize travel time from the city to Tullamarine, was done so under the agreement that no public transport linkage would be developed within forty years. This agreement was apparently brought about to protect the tariffs that stem from Citylink’s usage, that has profited exponentially from the airport’s growth.

Others may say that there is no obvious path for a rail system to take that would service the airport. As Tullamarine is thirty kilometres north-west from the central business district (CBD), any investment into proposed rail infrastructure to Flinders Street Station or Southern Cross Station may be costly, as no existing city networks are located in the vicinity of Tullamarine.


Though these excuses may be valid, there is no debating that traffic between the airport and the CBD is becoming an issue. Average journey from the CBD has almost doubled during peak hours since Citylink’s inception, and the current Skybus’ scheduling and cost from the airport are not providing any incentive for those that prefer to drive or take a taxi.

As Melbourne Airport’s patronage doubles within the next fifteen years, what sustainable solutions may they adopt from other cities?

Credits: Data and images linked to sources.

Steven Petsinis

Steven Petsinis is an Urban Planning graduate from Melbourne, Australia. He has been involved in Urban Research and Development projects in Medellin, Colombia and Saigon, Vietnam and is currently pursuing his masters in Melbourne, Australia. His main interests lie in land use and social planning, sustainability, as well as studies involving globalization and it's effect on third world communities. He has recently spent one year travelling throughout North and South America, as well as Europe, where he has gathered material and inspiration for his upcoming blogs for The Grid.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 at 9:44 am and is filed under Land Use, Transportation, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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