Australian Government supports development of Davao City's Transport Plan

The Australian Government recently assisted Davao City's efforts to improve its Comprehensive Transport and Traffic Management Plan (CTTMP) for 2018-2022 with a benchmarking mission to to Brisbane and Gold Coast. Six (6) key officials from Davao City went to the two bustling Australian cities to meet their counterparts and learn how they are meeting the transport and traffic challenges of their communities.

Australian Government supports development of Davao Citys Transport Plan Photo.jpg

Mayor Sara Duterte expressed her gratitude to the Australian Government for assisting the city in enhancing its transport and traffic management plan. The benchmarking participants, who are back in Davao City, are in the process of improving the city's plan using their key learnings from the mission.

"The benchmarking mission enabled the team to identify the depth and scope of the transport plan. Through the mission, we learned how transport plans are implemented, and we saw firsthand how it has improved the lives of Australians. Our learnings gave us a template, which we can utilise in creating and enhancing our own plan," said Atty. Tristan Dwight P. Domingo, Davao City assistant city administrator and team leader of the benchmarking mission.

Brisbane, which has the same population as Davao City, has implemented transport systems such as integrated transport ticketing between buses, trains and ferry services, and specialised busways and bikeways. One of the benchmarking participants, Engineer Gina R. Santos a project evaluation officer from Davao's City Planning and Development Office, was particularly impressed with Brisbane's strategy for accelerated procurement of buses and ferries to improve Brisbane City Council public transport. "Brisbane is successful in their transport implementation because they have a very good transport plan and they have the ATAP (Australian Transport Assessment and Planning) framework that guides them on the standards of planning," she said. Inspired by Brisbane's success, Engineer Santos said their meetings and data gathering are now guided by their learnings from Brisbane's transport plan and strategic principles.

During the mission, the team also met with the Queensland Police Service-Traffic Enforcement.  According to Engineer Santos, she was impressed by how the Queensland Police capture and use traffic and enforcement data to improve community safety, road safety measures, and traffic management. "Their priority is not just apprehension, but more importantly, safety of the road users and public," she said.

Meanwhile, Engineer Ivan Cortez who is the department head of Davao's City Planning and Development Office, noted that the benchmarking mission helped him realise that active transport - such as walking and cycling - should be given full consideration in any infrastructure development and redevelopment. "Land use zoning is key in providing for an environment that makes active and public transport effective and efficient," he said. Upon their return to Davao, his team conducted a review of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of Davao City to see how they can incorporate spatial strategies that will promote active transport in Davao City.

Davao City's benchmarking team was composed of department heads from the City Transport and Traffic Management Office, City Engineer's Office and the City Planning and Development Office. While in Australia, the team conducted site visits of Brisbane's and Gold Coast's public transport system and met with senior city council officials responsible for transport planning and traffic management as well as private sector participants implementing traffic systems.  

The benchmarking program was designed and conducted through the Australia Awards and Alumni Engagement Program Philippines (AAAEP-P) in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology.