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Tram-like buses to solve transport woes

In response to bus reviews in Manningham/Monash/Whitehorse, the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) is calling for principal ‘tram-like’ bus routes to be established on all main roads in the three municipalities.

“The current bus network with all its spaghetti-tangled routes, just doesn’t meet our travel needs in the 21st century,” said Jeremy Lunn, the PTUA’s Outer East Convenor.

Currently buses in Manningham/Monash/Whitehorse are taking indirect routes, while operating on infrequent timetables. Rolling out the State Government’s Principle Public Transport Network (PPTN) sooner would partially solve the problem. However, according to Mr Lunn the PPTN must be extended to include all main roads in the municipality.

“Plans for the PPTN have been sitting in government drawers gathering dust for far too long now,” Mr Lunn said. “It is time to bite the bullet and fund these much needed public transport improvements. With rising petrol prices and global warming, this need is becoming ever more urgent.”

Running ‘tram-like’ bus services, involves running more buses along main roads at much greater frequencies. For many people, the need to understand confusing indirect bus routes would be eliminated entirely.

“We need to apply the principles of our tram network to the areas of Melbourne served by
buses,” Mr Lunn said. “This would mean that bus routes would be more direct, more logical and easier to understand.”

Bus users who live in or travel to places that aren’t near main roads need not despair. Under PTUA plans, secondary bus routes would serve those areas, and in some cases further upgrades would also be made.

“For example, we’d like to see local routes operating at a minimum half-hourly interval,” Mr Lunn said.

Whilst the State Government’s Meeting Our Transport Challenges (MOTC) proposal does cover some of these upgrades.

“However, MOTC just doesn’t go far enough with solving our public transport problems and the improvements it does suggest are pushed too far out into the future. If Melbourne is to see a future that is economically and environmentally sound, Premier John Brumby needs to fix our public transport now,” Mr Lunn concluded.

Priority Routes (Upgrade to SmartBus frequencies)

* 200 City – Bulleen
* 279 Box Hill – Doncaster/Templestowe (Wetherby Rd)
* 286 Box Hill – The Pines (Blackburn Rd)

* 693 Oakleigh – Belgrave (Ferntree Gully Rd)
* 733 Box Hill – Clayton (Stephensons Rd/Clayton Rd)
* 734 Glen Iris – Knox (High Street Rd)
* 623 St Kilda – Glen Waverley (Waverley Rd)
* 800 Chadstone – Dandenong (Dandenong Rd/Princes Hwy)

* Canterbury Rd SmartBus (new route)
* 733 Box Hill – Clayton (Stephensons Rd/Clayton Rd)
* 279 Box Hill – Doncaster/Templestowe (Middleborough Rd)
* 286 Box Hill – The Pines (Surrey Rd)

Bus Reviews

Submissions for the bus reviews in Manningham/Monash/Whitehorse close on Friday, 2 May. The PTUA encourages all members of the public to have their say. Written submissions can be sent to:
Manningham/Monash/Whitehorse Bus Service Review, PO Box 2797,
Melbourne VIC 3001.

Further information on the Metropolitan Bus Service Review program is available at: www.doi.vic.gov.au/transport