The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called on the Government to present a new vision for MelbourneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s public transport network amid an independent report citing concern over urban sustainability.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The report commissioned by the independent Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability has exposed the GovernmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s failure to satisfactorily address MelbourneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s public transport needsÃ¢â‚¬Â, said PTUA Vice-President Alex Makin. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It has been made quite clear that Meeting Our Transport Challenges is sorely underwhelmingÃ¢â‚¬Â.
The State GovernmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Transport Strategy, dubbed Meeting Our Transport Challenges, was released in May 2006 and resulted in community disgust over the postponement of new train and tram extensions and the failure to radically improve the bus network.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“For someone who is internal to Government to paint such an honest and bleak picture clearly demonstrates how the Government has lost the plotÃ¢â‚¬Â, said Mr. Makin. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The GovernmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s plan provides nothing more than overcrowded trains, slow trams and infrequent buses. Petrol prices are continuing to increase and the Minister must present a new vision for MelbourneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s public transport systemÃ¢â‚¬Â.
The PTUA has renewed calls for the Government to commence works on the Rowville rail line and the Knox tram extension and to ensure that public transport services are provided simultaneously with urban growth and urban renewal.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The CommissionerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s report has vindicated the PTUAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s concerns over the State GovernmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s poor handling of public transport. We call on Minister Kosky to start afresh and work on a new vision separated from the failings, cost blowouts and broken promises of her predecessorÃ¢â‚¬Â, concluded Mr. Makin.