Despite the rhetoric from the State Government, the recently released State Budget has failed to provide the required improvements to Melbourne’s public transport system. In this regard the Maroondah Journal has reported on the Public Transport Users Association’s (PTUA) response to the State Budget:
Maroondah residents will get no benefit from the additional public transport funding announced in the state budget, the Public Transport Users Association says. The group has again called for Transport Minister Peter to resign, saying the budget fails to deliver for public transport users.
The State Budget papers have clearly shown that the State Government is failing to advance towards its own target of increasing public transport modal share to 20% by the year 2020. In fact despite rising petrol prices public transport modal share has slid backwards from 9% to 8% due to the fact that two-thirds of Melbourne is not provided with fast, frequent and readily available public transport.
PTUA spokesman and Maroondah councillor Alex Makin said the limited upgrades would not entice people onto public transport. “After all the fanfare, the Government’s transport statement and budget have failed to deliver. Commuters will have to wait several years before most of the upgrades implemented, and meanwhile must endure ongoing delays, cancellations and crowding.”
The State Government had the opportunity to radically improve Melbourne’s bus network within the recent State Budget. Unfortunately however Transport Minister Peter Batchelor squandered this opportunity by simply selecting a very limited number of bus routes situated mostly within marginal seats for service upgrades.
He said Mr Batchelor has “cherrypicked” a limited number of bus routes from marginal seats, while neglecting the rest of Melbourne.
After six years of government and six years of Peter Batchelor as the Minister for Transport, Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs deserve action and not just continued tokenistic gestures. The Bracks Government must start afresh and appoint a Transport Minister that is capable and delivering genuine and comprehensive public transport improvements.