The 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. Continue reading Billion dollar rail blowout a blessing in disguise→
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.
The 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.
As the state election approaches, the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called for upgrades to V/Line short distance services 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.
The 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.
The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has refreshed calls for an increase of services running on the Geelong rail line, calling for half-hourly services all day to Victoria’s largest regional city to better meet the needs of thousands of commuters and ease congestion on roads. Continue reading Half-hourly services way to go→
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 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”.