The Public Transport Users Association has described as “pure spin” Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder’s excuse for regional trains not stopping at North Melbourne station under the Regional Rail Link (RRL)
“The minister is trying to dress up a downgrade as an improvement,” PTUA regional spokesperson Paul Westcott said.
Mr Mulder has said that continuing to allow V/Line passengers to use North Melbourne would “add to congestion” at the station, yet it was recently rebuilt at a cost of $30 million to increase its capacity.
The Public Transport Users Association has criticised the state government for giving the go-ahead to the Regional Rail Link (RRL), without an independent review to fix the project’s problems and explore alternative plans.
PTUA secretary Tony Morton said the government’s approval made a mockery of its commitment to set up an independent Public Transport Development Authority to guide the improvement of Victoria’s public transport system.
“We strongly support the government’s initiative for an independent, expert body to guide the development of public transport services and infrastructure. We understand the government is in the process of selecting the key personnel. So why wouldn’t these, the experts we’re counting on to guide the system over the coming years, start by reviewing the largest and most expensive Victorian rail project in living memory?” Dr Morton said. Continue reading Regional Rail Link must be reviewed, users say→
The Geelong Branch of the Public Transport Users Association is disappointed that the state government has given the go-ahead to the Regional Rail Link (RRL) without any real changes.
“When he was in opposition, Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder made a number of pointed criticisms of the scheme, yet now he has rushed into announcing that it will continue it as it is, even in the face of a huge cost increase,” Branch convenor Paul Westcott said.
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 the launch of Labor’s transport policy, and said that it contained a number of worthwhile initiatives that would make life easier for passengers, but warned that it was not a comprehensive vision for fixing Victoria’s public transport woes.
The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has highlighted the fragmented nature of public transport management in Victoria, issuing a flowchart illustrating how difficult it is for the average person to work out who to contact with questions and problems. The flowchart will be sent to PTUA members, and available on the PTUA web site.
Trains, trams and Smartbuses every ten minutes, all suburban stations staffed, V/Line trains every half-hour on main commuter routes, “Tram-cams” to catch careless motorists, and a Public Transport Authority to better plan and manage public transport all feature in the Public Transport Users Association’s call to the political parties in the run-up to the state election in November.
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.