Tonight’s Eastern Transport Coalition meeting included a presentation from the Bus Association of Victoria outlining the increasing patronage experienced on Melbourne’s bus routes.
It is of little surprise that the more frequent routes have attracted higher patronage, with Melbourne’s SmartBus routes experiencing ongoing and strong growth. For example, the Ringwood to Frankston SmartBus (route 901) has experienced rapid patronage growth, as has route 903 from Mordialloc to Altona. These improvements result in reducing the number of cars on our roads, mitigating traffic congestion and greenhouse emissions, while also improving social inclusion.
The SmartBus network demonstrates how Melbourne’s bus routes should operate and there is a dire need for further improvements across the bus network.
The current bus review process for Maroondah, Knox and the Yarra Ranges will identify required improvements and it is imperative that these findings are funded and implemented.
The State Government must follow through with the funding required to implement the bus service reviews and help deliver a sustainable and inclusive transport system.
It is in this regard that the Eastern Transport Coalition is calling on Members of Parliament to initiate an Inquiry into Melbourne’s public transport system.
While the Victorian Legislative Council has resolved to undertake an inquiry into the factors leading to and causes of failures in the provision of metropolitan and V/Line train services, there is a need for a broader inquiry examining Melbourne’s entire public transport system.
A broader inquiry would explore the disconnect that exists between Melbourne’s public transport modes and investigate the systemic failures in delivering a public transport system that would promote transport choice through being competitive with private vehicle travel.
The Eastern Transport Coalition will be issuing a letter to local Members of Parliament requesting their support for this inquiry.
The redevelopment of Ringwood Station, accessibility improvements and more frequent and readily services are among the priorities for the Eastern Transport Coalition and will be included within this letter.