The Age has reported on concerns held by some transport bureaucrats that the public transport will be unable due to an influx of passengers with the removal of zone three.
SENIOR transport bureaucrats are worried that Melbourne’s train system will collapse when already packed carriages are jammed with new travellers after Zone 3 is abolished next year.
Train patronage rose by more than 10 per cent in the past 12 months, with overcrowding already occurring on many lines serving the outer suburbs.
While train patronage has risen in recent months, the fact is that is Melbourne’s rail system is still operating less trains in peak hour than it did in the 1980s or 70s. This highlights the fact that ample capacity does exist within the metropolitan system and that the barrier to improved services is not capacity but inability to schedule services efficiently.
As an example, there has been a complete failure to coordinate bus and rail services resulting in severe inefficiencies:
Public Transport Users Association vice-president Alex Makin said ensuring bus services were timed correctly with train times would relieve traffic congestion and allow more money to be spent on more frequent services instead of building railway station car parks.
Many rail projects, such as rail extensions to Cranbourne East and South Morang, and other initiatives such as the abolition of zone three, are entirely feasible if efficient rail scheduling was utilised. The fact that more trains were operating several decades ago demonstrates that Melbourne’s rail system is not operating near capacity.