The Age has reported on the announcement of new bus services for the outer suburbs of Melbourne:
Melbourne’s outer suburbs are about to get extra public transport, with more than 50 new or improved bus routes to be unveiled.
But critics, including the Public Transport Users Association, say the new services are nowhere near enough to meet transport needs.
The routes will be paid for with $44 million over four years announced in the May state budget. But critics say $50 million a year is needed to fund minimum services for the outer suburbs.
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Alex Makin said the announcement was inadequate given the pressure caused by high petrol prices.
While the announcement of funding for bus services is welcomed, the level of funding is inadequate to provide frequent public transport seven days per week in Melbourne’s outer suburbs.
The Bus Association of Victoria (BAV) has stated that at least $60 million per annum is required for Melbourne’s bus services. The PTUA stands in agreement that $44 million split over four years and divided into twelve areas is simply not enough to substantial public transport improvements to Melbourne’s neglected outer suburbs.
“A lot of these services will still not run on Sundays or late in the evening and they still follow the same haphazard, illogical routes we have seen for too long,” Mr Makin said.
With rising petrol prices the government is fast running of time to deliver genuine improvements to the public transport network.