The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called for a permanent end to ‘Summer’ service cutbacks and consistent timetables throughout the summer period.
“There is currently no consistency between the summer timetables used on the train and tram network and the summer timetables used for buses”, said PTUA Vice-President Alex Makin. “In addition the detrimental service cutbacks experienced on buses means that an already poor service becomes, in effect, unusable”.
While other bus operators generally operate a summer holiday timetable on just Christmas Day, Ventura owned National Bus Company, the main operator within Maroondah, operates a Summer Holiday Timetable for most of January, due to differing contractual standards.
“Since all metropolitan bus contracts will be renewed this is year it is imperative that the State Government removes the use of detrimental summer holiday timetables”, said Mr. Makin. “Current arrangements simply make it difficult for Maroondah residents to use public transport”.
While Melbourne’s train and tram network also operate on an altered timetable, generally only peak hour services are affected. The summer bus timetable experienced in Maroondah on National Bus routes roughly cuts off-peak services by 50%, meaning that a 30-minute service becomes hourly.
“While demand for travel to educational facilities and employment may decrease over the summer period, demand for recreational travel, particularly for students on holidays, increases. Cutbacks to already poor bus services simply creates social isolation and hampers the ability for students to seek part-time work or to enjoy their summer holidays”, concluded Mr. Makin.