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Zone 2 residents likely worse off, not better off from fare changes: PTUA

March 26th, 2014 (Election 2014, Media releases, Melbourne metro)

Myki fare gates, Parliament stationThe Public Transport Users Association has slammed the Napthine Government’s announcement of a flat fare cap for Melbourne as a “lost opportunity” to reform fares in a sustainable direction, and as a longer-term hit on people in the suburbs that the scheme is supposed to help.

“If Premier Napthine really wanted to make public transport cheaper for people in the suburbs, almost any other way of doing it would work better than what he has announced today,” PTUA President Tony Morton said.

“By applying a Zone 1 fare cap right across the metropolitan area, the system is now forced to charge the same price to travel two streets away as to travel right across Melbourne,” he said. “So if the system has to charge more for the longest journeys in future, it’ll have to charge the same for a short trip too, even if there’s still a slight discount for Zone 2 relative to Zone 1.”

Dr Morton explained that when Zone 3 was abolished in 2007, fares quickly rose to claw back the difference. “Back in 2006 it cost $52.20 a week to travel in all three zones,” he said. “It now costs $60.60 a week to travel in two zones. The saving for those outer suburban travellers was eaten up within just five years, and we fully expect the same will occur for Zone 2 travellers with this measure.”
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PM’s nonsensical logic

March 15th, 2014 (Letters to the editor)

Traffic from the Eastern Freeway queues to turn into Hoddle Street and head towards the CityDoes Tony Abbott really think Victorians will accept that black is white? That the best way to fund public transport expansion is to not fund it? More specifically, to pull all federal funding out of urban public transport on spurious ideological grounds and pour money into competing road projects instead (“Tony Abbott backs East West Link to make rail ‘easier’“, theage.com.au, 14/3)?

Because the bulk of public revenue goes to the Commonwealth, major road/rail projects have always required a mix of state and federal funding. If the Commonwealth withholds funding, that usually spells death for a desperately needed state project.

The East West Link panel is hearing evidence that the road will not have a sustained improvement on traffic congestion but will add to traffic levels in the suburbs. Victorians fed up with congestion should demand the Premier cancel the project, thus freeing up the money for desperately needed public transport.

Tony Morton, Public Transport Users Association
Published in The Age, 15/3/2014

Big win for south east, no win for west and north, masks ‘split personality’ on transport policy

March 6th, 2014 (Election 2014, Media releases, Melbourne east, Melbourne south)

The Napthine Government’s announcement of $2 billion of rail infrastructure upgrades and new trains for the Dandenong, Pakenham and Cranbourne corridors has won the strong backing of the Public Transport Users Association, who have labelled it “a template for fixing the rail network across Melbourne”.

But it is a shame the improvements are entirely confined to the South East of Melbourne, and a sign the government is handicapped by its single-minded devotion to the East West Link, the PTUA said today.

“This is a big dose of good news for transport in the south-east of Melbourne and in Gippsland,” said PTUA President Tony Morton. “It’s a major growth corridor and it will now have the room to grow with the rail service it needs.”
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PTUA calls for more public transport for White Night

February 24th, 2014 (Media releases)

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called for upgrades to public transport services for White Night, in response to long delays and overcrowding at the all-night festival.

PTUA President Tony Morton said clearly White Night was a huge success, with estimates of 500,000 people attending, and the state government was to be congratulated for running trains and trams all night, but that more services had to be provided to cut overcrowding.

“There were widespread reports of inbound services at crush load early in the evening, resulting in many passengers having no choice but to keep waiting up to half-an-hour for the next train or tram”, said Dr Morton.
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Follow the lead of world’s liveable cities

February 14th, 2014 (Letters to the editor)

Finally, we have confirmation from Infrastructure Australia co-ordinator Michael Deegan of what the community had suspected. The Napthine government has assessed the benefit-cost ratio for its east-west link as just 80ยข in the dollar (The Age, 13/2), in the absence of fanciful “agglomeration benefits”.

The wider benefits claimed are the kind that you get by expanding public transport, walking and cycling. These all promote concentrated economic activity and jobs in liveable cities such as Vienna, Barcelona or Vancouver. Expanding dependence on motor cars, as in Detroit, does not. Is our government suggesting that cutting a motorway through inner-Melbourne will shift car trips to public transport?
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Census travel data: don’t jump to conclusions – public transport mode share is up

February 5th, 2014 (News)

Trafficfrom PTUA President Tony Morton

The rather lightweight* McCrindle presentation of some Census data in the last couple of days seems to have triggered rather a lot of discussion, including a rant from Neil Mitchell on 3AW where he declared that we should forget about public transport, and just build more roads.

It seems rather odd McCrindle’s figures would be presented as news at all given that the same stats were analysed in 2012, and in more detail, by Paul Mees and Lucy Groenhart at RMIT.

What are the real trends?

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Dr Paul Mees OAM, 1961-2013

January 26th, 2014 (News)

DR PAUL MEES OAM, 1961-2013
Statement by the Public Transport Users Association
26 January 2014

The Public Transport Users Association is pleased to note today’s awarding of the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia to Dr Paul Mees, who died sadly in June 2013 after a battle with cancer.

Paul Mees had a long involvement with the Association and was its President from 1992 to 2001. Paul deserves much of the credit for inspiring the Association, and the broader sustainable transport advocacy movement in Australia, with a robust strategic vision together with strong intellectual leadership.
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‘Take PT to Parliament’ with your MP

January 24th, 2014 (Events)

Trams at Parliament

On the morning of Thursday 6 February, community groups across Melbourne will be joined by their local Member of Parliament and take public transport to Parliament.

The morning will see MPs catching trains, trams and buses to Parliament with their constituents.

Find out more, and join this event at the Public Transport Not Traffic web site.

Planned overcrowding – Reduced summer timetable results in passenger crush

January 9th, 2014 (Media releases, Melbourne metro)

Crowded train during reduced summer timetables 8/1/2014
In the wake of severe overcrowding on some train services, the PTUA has criticised the continued reduced timetable, which has cut services on some lines by as much as 50% until late January.[1]

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) released photos and video [see below] showing crammed conditions on a Frankston line train on Wednesday morning. The services before and after it had been withdrawn due to the reduced timetable.

Passengers have also reported packed services on other lines, including Hurstbridge, Ringwood and trains through North Melbourne.
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The importance of federal funding for public transport

January 7th, 2014 (Federal funding)

PTUA President Tony Morton talks to Wake Up on the importance of federal funding for public transport for our cities.

Source: Wake Up, Channel 10, 6/1/2014