Archive for the 'Melbourne metro' Category

Open letter to Premier Napthine reminds Coalition of their promise to fix public transport not build East-West toll road

July 1st, 2014 (Election 2014, Media releases, Melbourne metro)

Crowded trainThe Public Transport Users Association today published an open letter to Premier Napthine in the Herald Sun reminding the Government of their promise to fix public transport rather than build the East-West toll road.

“With our public transport network falling apart, Victorians are shocked that the Government is prioritising this half-baked toll road project without a public business case rather than fix public transport as they promised,” Dr Tony Morton, President of the Public Transport Users Association, said.

The letter, signed by more than 200 Victorians including the Mayors of four local Councils demonstrates that the community opposition to this road is not only sophisticated by well resourced.

“Without an opportunity to vote on this project, Victorians are using other avenues to have their voices heard,” Dr Morton said. “People from across Victoria are getting active on this issue because everyone has so much to loose if this toll road gets built,” said Dr Morton.

“This project is being hastily brought forward despite recommendations that further planning is required and despite the fact that Victorians have not had a chance to vote on this project,” said Dr Morton. “Napthine might think it is OK to approve an $18 billion project despite plans not even being finalised, however, Victorians do not.”

“When it comes to the primary question of whether this toll road is the number one transport priority for Victoria – the answer is a resounding ‘No’,” Dr Morton said.
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Neat, plausible and wrong: East West Link

June 3rd, 2014 (Election 2014, Melbourne metro)

The proposed freeway to remove the bottleneck created by the previous proposed freeway...PTUA President Tony Morton’s in-depth article on the history and folly of East West Link, originally published in Eco-Logica: World Transport Policy and Practice, is now available online on the YCAT web site.

The state of Victoria, Australia, has long been a site of tension between an incumbent and powerful road lobby and a community increasingly desirous of non-car transport alternatives. Today there is no greater signifier of this than the East West Link, a proposed 18km motorway in Melbourne estimated to cost $16 billion. The project is unprecedented both in the haste with which it is being pushed through the planning and pre-construction stages, and the apparent determination of the State Government not to seek any kind of public mandate for the project at a State election.

Click here to read the full article: Neat, plausible and wrong: Melbourne’s East West Link

East West Link: submission

May 16th, 2014 (Melbourne metro)

EWLink-CISClick below to read the PTUA’s submission to the East West Link hearings in April.

The submission identifies a number of important issues not flagged in the Comprehensive Impact Statement, including problems with traffic modelling, local impacts on trains, trams and buses.


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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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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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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PTUA presents inaugural Paul Mees Award to ‘people power’ transport activists

November 14th, 2013 (Media releases, Melbourne north)

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has presented the inaugural Paul Mees Award for transport advocacy to Darren Peters and Trevor Carroll of the South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance.

Trevor Carroll and Darren Peters of the South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance, accepting the inaugural Paul Mees Award

PTUA Tony Morton presented the award to Mr Peters and Mr Carroll at the PTUA’s 2013 Annual General Meeting.

“Darren and Trevor are worthy recipients of this inaugural Paul Mees Award”, said Dr Morton. “They are a great example of ‘people power’, working hard, battling bureaucracy and politicians to bring better outcomes for their local community.

“They have laboured tirelessly to bring much-needed rail services to the northern suburbs, and the fact that trains now run to South Morang is due in no small part to their campaigning.
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Premier not listening

September 30th, 2013 (Letters to the editor, Melbourne metro)

CityLink was supposed to have solved congestion a decade ago. Before that, the extension of the Eastern Freeway to Donvale was supposed to reduce congestion in the eastern suburbs. We’ve had long enough to pronounce a verdict on the evidence. That new roads increase congestion, rather than relieving it, is contrary to naive intuition but has been the consensus of evidence-based transport planners for decades. Unfortunately our Premier is not listening.

TONY MORTON, president, Public Transport Users Association

Letter published in The Age, 30/9/2013

Mandate for Doncaster rail – not the EW motorway

September 10th, 2013 (Letters to the editor, Melbourne east)

Build it means kill it

Train to East Doncaster

When the state Coalition promised in 2010 of Doncaster rail that “we’ll study it, then plan it and build it”, it was not clear to the listener that what the Coalition really meant was “we will kill it off forever”. All the more reason why this $8 billion road plan out of nowhere needs to be put to the people at the next election.

Tony Morton, Public Transport Users Association

published in The Age, 7/9/2013

Better signalling = more trains. How moving block signalling could boost capacity across Melbourne’s rail network

August 10th, 2013 (Melbourne metro, Newsletters)

New thinking is signalled for Melbourne’s transport woes

Signals near Footscray, RRLMelbourne faces big decisions about what kind of city it wants to be in the 21st century.

Our State Government is now driven by a vision drawn from Los Angeles. The East West Link promises not merely to increase levels of car and truck traffic and pollution. Worse, it will guarantee there are no funds available to improve transport for decades.

Meanwhile, such official backing as has existed for public transport has focussed almost exclusively on the 9km ‘Melbourne Metro’ rail tunnel. While undeniably a more worthwhile project than the East West Link (and with a higher benefit-cost ratio) the Metro tunnel has monopolised public transport planners’ attention to the point where it has all but blinded them to the existence of less costly but more beneficial improvements.

The Metro tunnel is promoted as the ‘magic pill’ solving every problem with the rail network — a claim it cannot possibly live up to in reality. To rationalise the single-minded devotion to tunnels, planners within PTV have got into the habit of claiming it is a prerequisite for virtually any other improvement — even when it bears no logical connection at all!

The rail network would benefit substantially more from measures that bring it up to date with the state of the art in European urban rail systems. A good benchmark is the Paris ‘RER’ suburban network, which shares many features with ours: it operates on double track, with lines that combine in the city but branch into three or four parts in the suburbs. One difference is that the RER operates double-deck trains, which makes it vulnerable to dwell-time issues at key stations at least as severe as ours.
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