Category Archives: Geelong

Billion dollar rail blowout a blessing in disguise

Southern Cross StationThe billion dollar blowout in the construction costs of the Regional Rail Link, reported in the Australian Financial Review today (3 February 2011), could provide the opportunity to revise the project and fix its worst problems, the Public Transport Users Association has said.

Secretary Tony Morton said that well-chosen experts for the proposed new Public Transport Authority could now be appointed to “do the homework” on the Link that had been neglected by the Department of Transport.

The PTUA has previously raised concerns that existing plans would make Geelong trains slower and cut connections to the City loop, the University precinct bus shuttle, and the Upfield, Craigieburn and Werribee suburban train lines. Passengers may have also overloaded the trains serving the proposed new stations.
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Transport review must include the regional rail link

The PTUA has called on the Minister for Public Transport, Terry Mulder, to include an evaluation of the Regional Rail Link (RRL) in the review of the former government’s transport plan.

PTUA Geelong Branch convenor Paul Westcott noted that in his recent announcement of the review, Mr Mulder said all projects proposed in the Victorian Transport Plan would be reviewed, but also that the RRL would proceed.

“It’s unclear whether some of the critical elements of the RRL project will be reviewed as well, but they certainly should be.  What’s the point of doing an overall review of the Transport Plan without examining the most extensive and expensive part of it?” Mr Westcott asked.

Continue reading Transport review must include the regional rail link

Users welcome more frequent Geelong trains – but what about network planning?

Southern Cross StationThe Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed Labor’s policy, announced today, to run more frequent Geelong trains during the day on weekdays. But they have also called for better planning to help passengers get to stations, saying many new buses will only meet every third train.

The Labor Party policy promises trains every twenty minutes between Geelong and Melbourne, on weekdays between the morning and afternoon peaks.

Geelong Branch convenor Paul Westcott welcomed Labor’s support for more frequent trains: ‘We’ve been asking for better off-peak services for years. At the moment, you can drive all the way to Melbourne in the time you’d spend waiting between trains’.
Continue reading Users welcome more frequent Geelong trains – but what about network planning?

Users welcome Greens support for a Geelong public transport authority

Public transport users have welcomed the Greens’ support for a dedicated public transport authority for Geelong, which promises to give the region a greater say over its public transport services.

Convenor of the Geelong Branch of the Public Transport Users Association, Paul Westcott, congratulated the Greens for being the first major party to pick up the idea for a Geelong public transport authority, and called on the other major parties to follow suit.
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Call for more V/Line services to cut waiting times

Southern Cross StationAs the state election approaches, the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called for upgrades to V/Line short distance services[1] to run at least every 30 minutes, seven days-a-week.

PTUA regional spokesman Paul Westcott said that with strong patronage growth, V/Line train services are increasingly overcrowded not just in peak times, but also at off-peak times, including weekends, and that waiting times are excessive.

“You will wait an hour between trains from Geelong to Melbourne, for  example. You could drive the distance in that time.

“And our members report passengers forced to stand for long distances on some off-peak V/Line trains.”
Continue reading Call for more V/Line services to cut waiting times

Crucial interchange bypassed by Regional Rail Link

V/Line carriageThe Public Transport Users Association has expressed serious concerns over the revelation that no platforms will be provided at North Melbourne station for Geelong rail passengers travelling on the forthcoming Regional Rail Link.

Although extra platforms will be provided at both Footscray and Southern Cross stations as part of the $4.2bn project, the Department of Transport has told the PTUA that platforms at North Melbourne won’t be provided, apparently to keep costs down.

North Melbourne is currently a major interchange point for travellers on the Geelong line, providing connections to City Loop services, as well as the recently-introduced 401 shuttle bus from North Melbourne to the university and hospital precincts in Parkville. The 401 was established in part to assist Geelong line commuters.

“Given that $4.2 billion is to be spent on this scheme, it is completely unacceptable that such a vital and well-used interchange point will be by-passed,” PTUA Geelong Branch convenor Paul Westcott said.
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Users ask the government how much slower the new rail link to Geelong will be

In a submission to a Victorian parliamentary inquiry, the Geelong branch of the PTUA has called on the State Government to clarify how much time the Regional Rail Link will add to the journey for Geelong travellers.

The Legislative Council Select Committee on Train Services is inquiring into the “failures in the provision of metropolitan and V/Line train services”, and the Branch’s submission raises concerns about the idea that, under the Regional Rail Link, Geelong services will run via Tarneit, to the west of Werribee.

The new line will add up to 15 kilometres to the total trip length from Geelong to Melbourne compared to the current direct route. This extra distance could increase travel time by an extra 10 minutes.
Continue reading Users ask the government how much slower the new rail link to Geelong will be

Passengers give thumbs-down to failed Myki

The Public Transport Users Association has flagged the first week of operation of Myki on Geelong’s buses as a failure, following feedback from Geelong commuters.

PTUA President Daniel Bowen said the association’s Geelong Branch had closely watched the introduction of the multi-million dollar Myki ticket system, and passengers had given it a big thumbs down.

“Despite earlier trials on a limited number of buses, the rollout onto all Geelong buses has gone ahead, bringing with it a myriad of problems”, said Mr Bowen.

PTUA members highlighted a number of issues, including:
Continue reading Passengers give thumbs-down to failed Myki

Bus Users Welcome Council’s Tick for Moorabool Street

The Geelong Branch of the Public Transport Users Association has congratulated the council on its decision to reinstate a central bus interchange in Moorabool Street. Geelong Branch convenor Paul Westcott said that the decision would make Geelong’s bus system more user-friendly and remove a major obstacle to future upgrades.

“It’s very pleasing to see the new council get off to such a positive start after four years of inaction,” Mr Westcott said. “With a single central interchange, buses won’t waste so much time in the city centre, and the State Government’s planned improvements can occur”.

Continue reading Bus Users Welcome Council’s Tick for Moorabool Street