The Maroondah Leader has reported on the Eastern Transport Coalition’s campaign to abolish zone three to ensure equity for public transport users in the eastern suburbs:
Maroondah commuters are sick of being slugged an unfair tax in zone three, says the region’s transport lobby group calling for the antiquated zoning system to be scrapped.
Maroondah’s representative on the transport coalition and a councillor, Alex Makin, said the zoning system made a mockery of the Ringwood Transit City Plan.
“If we want to encourage people to live and work in Ringwood, people need to be able to afford public transport or else they’ll drive straight through”, he said.
The current public transport zones were developed in 1982 and do not reflect geographic distances from the CBD. For example while Ringwood, which is located just 23km from Melbourne’s CBD, is located in zone three, Hurstbridge is 36km from the CBD but located in zone two.
Cr Makin said parking and traffic problems were rife on the border of zone two and three, as people drove to bordering stations to avoid paying the peak price.
As a result of the arbitrary nature of the zone system commuters are simply driving through Ringwood to park at Heatherdale Station which is located in zone two. This has resulted in excessive demand for car parking at Heatherdale affecting the local amenity.
The State Government can no longer ignore the needs of eastern Melbourne. In the lead up to the State Election there must be a pledge to abolish zone three so that it removes the price penalties when travelling between zones.