The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has renewed calls for the immediate construction of the Rowville Railway line, describing the route 900 Wellington Road SmartBus as inadequate.
“Bus services just cannot be compared with trains,”Â said Jeremy Lunn, the PTUA’s Outer-East Convenor. “The bus crawls along at bicycle pace resulting in travel times of over an hour to reach the city in peak times”Â.
The Rowville railway line would offer commuters a much quicker journey, reducing travel times to the city to as little as 30 minutes. Trains would also provide much greater capacity, as a single train can carry the equivalent of 20 buses or 800 car trips.
“The bus barely has the capacity to cope with students at Monash University, let alone the entire Rowville corridor,”Â Mr Lunn said. “The railway line would even beat the Monash Freeway in both capacity and travel time. Not to mention that the railway line would deliver environmental and health benefits that freeways don’t have, such as reducing traffic congestion and cutting pollution.”Â
The concept of a railway line to Monash University and Rowville is not new, with plans dating back to the 1969 Transport Plan. However there has been little progress by successive state governments in building the line.
“The Wellington Road SmartBus was provided by Bracks-Brumby Government as an interim service until a proper rail could be rolled out. Yet the Government has not even commenced a simple feasibility study.”Â
“The continued inaction of the Brumby Government to expand our rail network shows a reluctance to tackle the real issues of traffic congestion and climate change,”Â Mr Lunn concluded.