The Napthine Government could boost its tenuous grip on power and regain the confidence of the Victorian public if it kept its 2010 election promises on transport – but time is running out, the Public Transport Users Association said today.
“Premier Napthine risks not winning a second term of government, whether an election is called now or in November,” said PTUA President Tony Morton. “But this is a situation of the government’s own making. It was the Premier and the government’s decision to trash its 2010 promises on public transport, the ones that won Victoria for the Coalition for the first time since 1996, and sink all its money into a foolish East West road project with a return of 80 cents in the dollar.”
“Were it not conscripting the public treasury to this $18 billion traffic factory, the Napthine Government could afford to go ahead with what it promised in 2010. It could build the lines to Doncaster and Rowville, assisted by Metro’s high-capacity signalling initiatives, build a proper station at Southland, and restore country rail links between Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.”
Continue reading Last chance for Victorian Government to honour its promises
PTUA President Tony Morton’s in-depth article on the history and folly of East West Link, originally published in Eco-Logica: World Transport Policy and Practice, is now available online on the YCAT web site.
The state of Victoria, Australia, has long been a site of tension between an incumbent and powerful road lobby and a community increasingly desirous of non-car transport alternatives. Today there is no greater signifier of this than the East West Link, a proposed 18km motorway in Melbourne estimated to cost $16 billion. The project is unprecedented both in the haste with which it is being pushed through the planning and pre-construction stages, and the apparent determination of the State Government not to seek any kind of public mandate for the project at a State election.
Click here to read the full article: Neat, plausible and wrong: Melbourne’s East West Link
The Public Transport Users Association has slammed the Napthine Government’s announcement of a flat fare cap for Melbourne as a “lost opportunity” to reform fares in a sustainable direction, and as a longer-term hit on people in the suburbs that the scheme is supposed to help.
“If Premier Napthine really wanted to make public transport cheaper for people in the suburbs, almost any other way of doing it would work better than what he has announced today,” PTUA President Tony Morton said.
“By applying a Zone 1 fare cap right across the metropolitan area, the system is now forced to charge the same price to travel two streets away as to travel right across Melbourne,” he said. “So if the system has to charge more for the longest journeys in future, it’ll have to charge the same for a short trip too, even if there’s still a slight discount for Zone 2 relative to Zone 1.”
Dr Morton explained that when Zone 3 was abolished in 2007, fares quickly rose to claw back the difference. “Back in 2006 it cost $52.20 a week to travel in all three zones,” he said. “It now costs $60.60 a week to travel in two zones. The saving for those outer suburban travellers was eaten up within just five years, and we fully expect the same will occur for Zone 2 travellers with this measure.”
Continue reading Zone 2 residents likely worse off, not better off from fare changes: PTUA
The Napthine Government’s announcement of $2 billion of rail infrastructure upgrades and new trains for the Dandenong, Pakenham and Cranbourne corridors has won the strong backing of the Public Transport Users Association, who have labelled it “a template for fixing the rail network across Melbourne”.
But it is a shame the improvements are entirely confined to the South East of Melbourne, and a sign the government is handicapped by its single-minded devotion to the East West Link, the PTUA said today.
“This is a big dose of good news for transport in the south-east of Melbourne and in Gippsland,” said PTUA President Tony Morton. “It’s a major growth corridor and it will now have the room to grow with the rail service it needs.”
Continue reading Big win for south east, no win for west and north, masks ‘split personality’ on transport policy