Buses in suburbs the key to Melbourne’s transport woes

Melbourne’s transport future looks bleak as the Victorian Government’s $2 billion investment for 38 new trains will barely reduce overcrowding on trains, experts warn.

The State Government must boost bus and train services in Melbourne’s outer suburbs to prevent overcrowding doubling by 2020, according to experts.

Train passengers increased by 100 per cent in the past 10 years, and demand for buses increased by 35 per cent since 2006.

Even with the Government’s 38 new trains in operation by 2014, peak hour trains will still be overcrowded by 40 per cent within a few years, Monash University’s Chair of Public Transport, Graham Currie predicts.

“We’re going to spend $2 billion to get us nowhere,” Professor Currie said.

Despite being the only option for commuters in suburbs without trains or trams, most bus services do not operate on Sundays or at night.

New bus routes to be introduced in Doncaster next month “fall well short of the recommendations of Sir Rod Eddington” regarding frequency and hours of operation, Member of Parliament for Doncaster, Mary Wooldridge, said in a recent speech to Parliament.

Many bus services in Melbourne’s outer suburbs are “unusable” and not successful in encouraging Melburnians to use public transport, Victorian Public Transport Users’ Association President, Daniel Bowen, said.

“In so many areas of Melbourne people are forced to drive everywhere because public transport is lacking,” Mr Bowen said.


>Overseas experts who have visited Melbourne say we have the ingredients to build one of the finest public transport systems in the world.  Read more interesting facts about public transport in Melbourne.

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Brianna Piazza

Journalist and travel writer.


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