Media Release – Tuesday, 3 January 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
Summer Timetable Cutbacks Must Be Permanently Removed
The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called for a permanent end to the Summer bus timetables and corresponding service cutbacks.
“There is currently no consistency between the summer timetables used on the train and tram network and the summer timetables used for buses”, PTUA spokesman Alex Makin said. “The detrimental service cutbacks experienced on buses during the summer holiday period means that an already poor service becomes, in effect, unusable.”
While other bus operators generally operate a summer holiday timetable on just Christmas Day, National Bus Company, the main operator within Maroondah operates a Summer Holiday Timetable for two weeks, due to differing contractual standards.
“Since all metropolitan bus contracts will be renewed in 2007 it is imperative that the State Government removes the use of detrimental summer holiday timetables”, Mr. Makin said. “Current arrangements simply make it difficult for Maroondah residents to use public transport during the summer timetable period. The government must through these new bus contracts ensure that bus frequencies operate to a similar standard to that experienced on the tram network.”
While Melbourne’s train and tram network operates on an altered timetable from the end of December to mid January generally only peak hour services are affected. The summer bus timetable experienced in Maroondah on National Bus routes roughly cuts off-peak services by 50%, meaning that a 30-minute service becomes hourly. In comparison the tram network operates at a 15 to 20 minute service frequency during the summer period
“While demand for travel to educational facilities and employment may decrease over the summer and Christmas period demand for recreational travel, particularly for students on holidays, increases. During the summer holiday period our youth and the rest of Maroondah still require mobility. Cutbacks to bus services simply creates social isolation and encourages social miscreants due to chronic boredom and despair”, Mr. Makin concluded.
About the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA):
Founded in 1976, the PTUA is the recognised consumer organisation representing passengers of public transport. The PTUA is a non-profit, voluntary organisation with no political affiliation, which lobbies governments and public transport authorities in the interest of all users of public transport.
ALL MEDIA COMMENTS: ALEX MAKIN ON 0409 136 213