Category Archives: News

Opinion piece: That slow train is still

Opinion piece by Anthony Morton, Secretary, PTUA, published in the Herald Sun, 11 December 2007

That slow train is still

HOW do you revive an ailing public transport system?

Who do you blame when your train doesn’t show up because it has broken down somewhere?

Or when it does show up, it’s so crowded you can’t get on?

Who do you blame when you have to wait 30 lonely minutes at night for a bus to pick you up from the station?
Continue reading Opinion piece: That slow train is still

Federal road funding blows Geelong’s greenhouse budget

Geelong’s transport greenhouse gas emissions will rise even faster under proposals from both major parties to upgrade major roads instead of improving public transport, the Public Transport Users Association has warned.

Geelong Branch Convener Paul Westcott said both parties also risked making the region more vulnerable to high petrol prices by increasing dependence on cars, while still not providing any practical public transport alternatives to driving.
Continue reading Federal road funding blows Geelong’s greenhouse budget

PTUA Annual General Meeting results

The 31st Annual General Meeting of the PTUA took place on Thursday night, 25 October, at Ross House. The meeting was well attended, with 65 members present. Members present were keen to acknowledge the ongoing work of the PTUA, and the ordinary business of the organisation proceeded without dissent.

The membership passed two resolutions at the meeting, the full wording of which can be found below.

While these resolutions are non-binding, they establish guidelines for what is considered acceptable conduct by committee members with political affiliations. The incoming committee will also be considering more binding changes to the PTUA’s constitution and by-laws in future to avert any attempts at party-political ‘stacking’.
Continue reading PTUA Annual General Meeting results

South Morang extension funding welcomed, but buck passing not

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed the Federal Coalition’s commitment of funds to the Mernda rail extension in Melbourne’s north.

“This rail extension will help to cut greenhouse emissions and fuel expenses in the heart of the mortgage belt where transport costs put major pressure on household finances,” said PTUA President Daniel Bowen. “We believe this is recognition that alternatives to driving are sorely needed to ease the squeeze on family budgets as well as to reduce greenhouse emissions and oil imports.”

Treasurer Peter Costello committed $80 million to two overpasses associated with the rail extension while visiting the area today. The federal government has however declined to fund public transport infrastructure, leaving the state government to fund all of the track laying, signalling and stations as well as several other road crossings along the route.

“Of course the money is welcome, but the buck passing is not. It highlights the silly arbitrary demarcation where the federal government will put billions into state and local roads but nothing into public transport,” said Mr Bowen. “Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world but the Australian government is unique among Western nations in not investing in urban public transport. This embarrassment needs fixing urgently.”
Continue reading South Morang extension funding welcomed, but buck passing not

Roads Minister keeps passengers stuck in traffic

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) today expressed frustration with Roads Minister Tim Pallas’ failure to speed up road-based public transport, especially buses, due to lack of action on priority measures.

“Roads Minister Tim Pallas needs to stop dragging his feet and start listening to the community, transport experts and his own advisors who all support giving buses proper priority on Melbourne’s roads”, PTUA spokesman Christopher Trikilis said. “If buses are to be an integral part of our transport network, then we need to ensure they are given their due priority on roads. Buses carrying 50 passengers shouldn’t be held up by cars averaging only one person each.”
Continue reading Roads Minister keeps passengers stuck in traffic

PTUA VP departs

Vice President Alex Makin this week announced his resignation from the PTUA committee. Alex has been on the committee since 2003, and has been Vice President since 2006.

The PTUA thanks Alex for his hard work with the organisation, and wishes him the best for the future. And we hope that via his involvement with the Eastern Transport Coalition and other organisations that he continues to be an active voice in the fight for sustainable transport.

Transport the key to emissions reductions

From PTUA News, July 2007

TrafficWhile the Federal Government finally appears to be paying some attention to carbon emissions, planning to phase out incandescent lightbulbs in favour of Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs), there’s no sign of directing funds towards urban public transport projects. This is despite household lighting representing a fraction of the emissions of transport – indeed, calculations we’ve done indicate that transferring just 20% of car trips to public transport services would save around four times the carbon emissions of switching all lights to CFLs.
Continue reading Transport the key to emissions reductions

Hold onto your train tickets — Compensation available

Monthly and longer ticketholders will get compensation from Connex for January for the large number of cancelled and delayed trains. While it is only a Daily ticket — more of a token than genuine compensation — and it does not apply to shorter term ticketholders who have also put up with poor train services this month, the PTUA encourages all eligible customers to send in a claim form. It helps send the message that Connex and the government need to work harder to fix the current problems.

V/Line passengers holding periodical tickets of 4 weeks or longer (on any line) can also claim compensation for poor performance in December.
Continue reading Hold onto your train tickets — Compensation available

Clarification — Hold the Hitachis!

In the MX newspaper yesterday (24/11/2006), PTUA Vice-president Alex Makin was paraphrased as saying that the Hitachi trains should be replaced immediately.

This appears to have been a misunderstanding with the reporter. The PTUA has a long-held view that the Hitachi trains should not be scrapped. Rather, they should be upgraded with intercoms and security cameras and kept in service to help relieve overcrowding by providing extra services. At this point in time, expanding the train fleet is more important than replacing old (but serviceable) trains.