Category Archives: News

Google Transit includes every state and territory except Victoria

From Gladstone to Kalgoorlie, from Darwin to Hobart, and many other towns and cities across Australia, if you want to take a trip by public transport, you can use Google’s world-class mapping tools to help plan it. In fact Google Transit now covers public transport timetables for every state and territory in the country… except Victoria, including all the other capital cities.


This week Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder wrote in reply to Twitter user Tim Cooke, saying PTV is expecting to be able to provide Google Transit with data from early 2015. We’d love to believe it, but having heard the same promise many times before, we’re not holding our breath.

Census travel data: don’t jump to conclusions – public transport mode share is up

Trafficfrom PTUA President Tony Morton

The rather lightweight* McCrindle presentation of some Census data in the last couple of days seems to have triggered rather a lot of discussion, including a rant from Neil Mitchell on 3AW where he declared that we should forget about public transport, and just build more roads.

It seems rather odd McCrindle’s figures would be presented as news at all given that the same stats were analysed in 2012, and in more detail, by Paul Mees and Lucy Groenhart at RMIT.

What are the real trends?

Continue reading Census travel data: don’t jump to conclusions – public transport mode share is up

Dr Paul Mees OAM, 1961-2013

DR PAUL MEES OAM, 1961-2013
Statement by the Public Transport Users Association
26 January 2014

The Public Transport Users Association is pleased to note today’s awarding of the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia to Dr Paul Mees, who died sadly in June 2013 after a battle with cancer.

Paul Mees had a long involvement with the Association and was its President from 1992 to 2001. Paul deserves much of the credit for inspiring the Association, and the broader sustainable transport advocacy movement in Australia, with a robust strategic vision together with strong intellectual leadership.
Continue reading Dr Paul Mees OAM, 1961-2013

East West Link statement a mountain of PR spin

CIS stands for ‘Clouded In Secrecy’, says PTUA

The Napthine Government’s Comprehensive Impacts Statement (CIS) on the East West tollroad proposal is ‘Comprehensive In Spin’ (CIS) but crucial facts remain ‘Clouded In Secrecy’ (CIS), the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) said today.

“The Napthine Government has just dumped hundreds of pages of modelling and PR spin that claims the project will be good for Victoria, but the massive volume of information distracts from what they’re still not telling us,” said PTUA President Dr Tony Morton.
Continue reading East West Link statement a mountain of PR spin

Paul Mees

Word has reached us tonight of the passing of Paul Mees, PTUA Secretary from 1987 to 1991, and President from late 1992 to 2001. A big loss.

Here’s Paul’s video from the Trains Not Tollroads public meeting last week.

And here’s a video from the 1995 launch of the PTUA document Wrong Way, Go Back, calling for public transport upgrades instead of motorways.
Continue reading Paul Mees

Axe Myki and use e-Tag instead, says PTUA

Touching-off with an eTagFollowing the Napthine government’s announcement that single-use public transport tickets will no longer be available from this month[1], the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has urged the government to abandon the trouble-plagued Myki card and instead rollout e-Tag on the public transport network.

Most regular users of CityLink and EastLink have an e-Tag, while many less frequent users opt to set up an access account or buy short-term day or weekend passes for travel. Expanding these to public transport would offer public transport users both regular and single-use ticket options.

Continue reading Axe Myki and use e-Tag instead, says PTUA

Road safety strategy must offer safer transport alternatives and protect vulnerable road users

Victoria’s new road safety strategy must offer alternatives to car travel if it is to succeed in slashing the road toll, the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) said today.

“You’re over five times more likely to die in a car than on public transport, and over 10 times more likely to be seriously injured on the road than on a train,” said PTUA President Tony Morton. “Getting people out of their cars and onto public transport saves lives, reduces life-long injuries and has numerous other benefits like cutting congestion, emissions and fuel bills.”

Recent PTUA studies have shown public transport services must be improved significantly, particularly in outer suburbs, to offer a genuine alternative to driving [1]. “While government advertising implores people not to drive if they’re tired or they’ve had a drink, government transport policy is offering many people few options,” said Dr Morton. “In fact, multi-billion dollar road tunnels will encourage even more traffic and starve public transport of funding for decades.”
Continue reading Road safety strategy must offer safer transport alternatives and protect vulnerable road users

Going Loopy: maps to help fight City Loop confusion – simplified operation needed

City Loop, AM peakTo combat continuing confusion over operation of the City Loop, the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has released a series of maps explaining how it works.[1]

Outgoing PTUA President Daniel Bowen said that both occasional and regular passengers had been baffled by the Loop for more than 30 years since its original opening in 1981.

“The loop is actually four separate rail tunnels, with trains running one way during the morning, most reversing direction during the afternoon, and a yet another pattern on weekends. There are also variations outside peak hours on weekdays. All in all, it’s a confusing mess.”[2]

Mr Bowen said the loop’s lunchtime reversal on weekdays was an anachronism. “It’s all designed to cater for the Jolimont stabling yards – which no longer exist.

“It not only causes confusion, it also means long gaps of up to 28 minutes at underground stations at lunchtime – when more people could be using the Loop to travel around the CBD and avoid packed trams.”

The loop’s current configuration also means it’s impossible to travel from the underground stations to Flinders Street or Southern Cross stations on weekday afternoons, playing havoc with passengers trying to make connections onto V/Line services or Skybus.

Mr Bowen said it was time the operation of the City Loop was reviewed and simplified.

“In the meantime, we hope these maps at least go some way to demystifying the Loop”, he said.
Continue reading Going Loopy: maps to help fight City Loop confusion – simplified operation needed

Minister Mulder addresses PTUA members

PTUA President Daniel Bowen and Public Transport Minister Terry MulderLast Thursday night Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder attended a meeting of PTUA members. Mr Mulder’s address was followed by a lengthy question and answer session, covering issues such as Myki, bikes on trains, station facilities, Altona Loop timetables and the government’s planned Public Transport Development Authority.

The Minister also discussed the new Melbourne tram prototype design, and revealed that it is planned to display the prototype at this year’s Royal Show.

PTUA members who missed the meeting will find a summary of the meeting in the next newsletter.

Melbourne’s public transport is in crisis

Melbourne's public transport is in crisis - brochure coverMelbourne’s public transport is in crisis — and your vote can make a difference.

  • Cancellations
  • Poor connections
  • Crowding
  • Trams stuck in traffic

Read the full brochure (PDF 338 Kb)

The current privatisation arrangements need to end. There could be a role for private operators — as subcontractors providing the services specified by a public authority — but the ‘franchise’ model introduced in 1999 by the Coalition and renewed in 2004 and 2009 by Labor hasn’t worked. Scores of organisations are arranged in an impenetrable maze of bureaucratic confusion, and with no central control there is poor coordination between services, poor planning, and buck-passing.

Find out more about why public transport management and planning needs a shakeup, and send your local candidates an email at the Public Transport That Works web site.

This brochure is directed at residents of Melbourne’s inner suburbs, but remember, wherever you are: If you want better public transport, in this election, look carefully at the policies of all the candidates. Make your vote count.