Manningham: Time for late night services

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has demanded that bus services in Manningham be significantly increased and extended on Friday and Saturday evenings in line with improvements for Melbourne’s tram and train network.

The State Government is introducing late-night services on all tram and train routes until 2am on Friday and Saturday evenings, allowing greater flexibility and opportunity to use public transport on these nights. However, Manningham still has no fixed rail, despite calls from the community for both train and tram extensions into the area, and as such will not be able to benefit from the increase in late-night services.

“Given trains and trams will operate until 2am and the Government’s refusal to extend the tram or train to Doncaster, there must be an instant commitment to extend important bus services later in the evening”, said PTUA spokesman and Doncaster resident Christopher Trikilis. “Public transport frequencies continue to be abysmal in Manningham and it is yet another classic example of transport inequality for residents”.

The PTUA recommends bus operations continue on the following key routes at half-hourly intervals until 2am:

  • route 307 from the City to Mitcham via Doncaster Road and the Doncaster Park and Ride
  • route 305 from the City to Warrandyte via Thompsons Road, George Street and The Pines
  • route 291 from Box Hill to Heidelberg via Manningham Road, connecting with each of the late-night trains operating from these stations

“Manningham residents shouldn’t be forced home early on the last bus in case they turn into a pumpkin, and it’s time Melbourne’s bus network join the 21st century rather than being stuck with timetables from the 1950s”, said Mr. Trikilis. “It is constantly proven that when improved services are provided, people will want to use them. Why shouldn’t Manningham residents be able to enjoy the same transport flexibility after going out of an evening the same as any other part of Melbourne does?”

“Every time the PTUA raises the issue of poor public transport, we are told that Manningham is a priority. Rising oil prices hurt families and businesses — the time for inaction is over. The government must stop finding excuses and fund these late night buses immediately”, concluded Mr. Trikilis.

Media coverage of this story: Manningham Leader, 27 September 2006: Push for late-night bus services