The Age has reported today on the City of Greater Dandenong council funded bus services and the State Government reluctance to fund these services. As The Age reports this is despite the fact that buses are considered a government ‘priority’:
The Government says its transport priorities are improving bus services in outer Melbourne and lifting public transport capacity in the fast-growing Dandenong corridor. But two bus routes – which meet both of those goals and have carried 900,000 people in the past year – have been axed because the Government does not want to pay for them.
The City of Greater Dandenong is unique within Melbourne as it took steps to ensure mobility for residents on the weekends to access local services:
The council took the unusual step after research showed people needed weekend public transport to libraries, shopping centres and swimming pools.
While the funding of public transport is clearly a State Government responsibility the City of Greater Dandenong is to be congratulated on initiating these services. Unfortunately the hypocrisy from the State Government and reluctance to fund these services will serve as a detriment to the communities of Dandenong and Springvale:
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Alex Makin said it was vital that the Government reverse its decision. “A failure of the State Government to fund these services will demonstrate a complete hypocrisy and a lack of regard for Melbourne’s south-east,” he said.
“Greater Dandenong Council has demonstrated that public transport works. The State Government must now deliver on its rhetoric and fund weekend and evening services.”
As Councillor Roz Blades clearly states it is simply abhorrent that the outer suburbs are without weekend bus services:
City of Dandenong Councillor Roz Blades said losing the buses would be a blow for disadvantaged people.
“It’s really a joke that people don’t have a bus on the weekend,” she said.