The Maroondah Leader has today reported on the PTUA’s efforts to abolish the current punitive summer holiday timetables for bus services that operate predominately within Maroondah and Manningham:
A PUBLIC transport group has renewed calls for an end to summer timetables on Maroondah services.
Public Transport Users Association spokesman and councillor Alex Makin last week slammed the lack of consistency between summer train, tram and bus networks.
The summer holiday timetables experienced on National bus routes (which operate the majority of services within Maroondah and Manningham) exist purely due to the differing contracts between National and other bus operators.
During the ‘summer holiday timetable’ period services during off-peak timetables are extensively cut, meaning that in most cases a half-hour service becomes an hourly service.
“The detrimental service cutbacks experienced on buses during the summer holiday period mean that an already poor service becomes, in effect, unusable,” Cr Makin said.
While it is true that Melbourne’s train and tram network also operates a summer holiday timetable, it is generally peak services and not off-peak services that are cut.
While peak travel may lessen during this time (due to work and or school holidays), off-peak travel is still required, particularly for students on holidays who need to travel to part-time work and recreation and people without a car. The degradation of services over summer restricts the mobility of these people, thus restricting employment opportunities for students that work during their holidays.
Melbourne’s bus contracts are to be renewed in 2007 making this time the perfect opportunity to remove the inequity caused by these services cutback over summer.