The State Government has finally released the Knox/Maroondah and Yarra Ranges bus review, which covered a total of 57 bus routes, serving a population of almost half a million people.
The review includes a number of short-term initiatives, including more frequent services for route 670, which will also be extended to Swinburne University in Lilydale. This bus route, which is one of Maroondah’s highest patronised services, runs along the Maroondah Highway, serving Ringwood, Croydon, Chirnside Park and Lilydale.
The Maroondah Leader has followed up on the release of the review and what it means for the City of Maroondah:
Maroondah Mayor Alex Makin said the improvements were positive, but new services were needed “sooner than later” to plug gaps along Canterbury Road and Mount Dandenong Road.
“We welcome the extension of route 670 along Maroondah Highway, which is long overdue,” he said.
“But the lack of a timeframe on the other projects is a concern.”
While these short-term improvements are welcomed, there is concern over the lack of timeframes for the longer-term initiatives, many of which will improve availability of bus services to residents in Maroondah.
The City of Maroondah issued a submission as part of the consultation into the bus service reviews, recommending frequency and operating span improvements. In addition Maroondah’s submission suggested new services along Canterbury Road connecting the Maroondah Indoor Sports Stadium and providing a service between Ringwood and Box Hill, as well as a new route running direct along Mount Dandenong Road from Ringwood to provide an accessible service to Karralyka, the Maroondah Civic Centre and Maroondah Hospital.
While these new bus routes were included as recommendations within the review, a timeframe for their implementation has not been provided. It is imperative that the State Government commit to the implementation of the bus service reviews to provide accessible and frequently available public transport within Maroondah.