Category Archives: Regional

Rail users call on MPs to save North Melbourne stop

Volunteers will hand out fliers at Geelong railway stations this week, asking passengers to contact state and federal MPs to help save stops at North Melbourne station.

When the Regional Rail Link opens, Geelong line trains will run past North Melbourne station without a stop, despite it being the best station for changes to the City Loop, and other rail and bus services.

Dedicated train users will give fliers to early morning commuters outside major Geelong stations, encouraging them to e-mail, phone or visit their MPs to make their views known.

The Public Transport Users Association’s Geelong branch convenor, Paul Westcott, said the volunteers hoped to raise awareness among train travellers. “About half of regional commuters change at North Melbourne, but many don’t know that they will lose their stop without urgent changes to Regional Rail Link plans”.

Continue reading Rail users call on MPs to save North Melbourne stop

Minister’s spin doesn’t wash

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.

“It’s nonsense to claim that regional trains will suffer delays from congestion by stopping at North Melbourne because they will now all stop at Footscray instead,” Mr Westcott said.
Continue reading Minister’s spin doesn’t wash

Bus users call for new paper tickets to replace short-term Myki

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called on the Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder to clarify the position regarding Myki short-term tickets.

PTUA Regional Spokesman Paul Westcott said yesterday’s announcement about Myki had created uncertainty for regional bus users in areas using Myki, including Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.

“Over sixty percent of bus travellers are using short-term tickets[1], yet Mr Mulder says that they are going to be eliminated ‘to the extent possible’. That threatens to create a huge problem for bus passengers and is likely to be a disincentive for people to use public transport.”
Continue reading Bus users call for new paper tickets to replace short-term Myki

Regional Rail Link must be reviewed, users say

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

Geelong Branch: Regional Rail Link needs independent review, 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 cost blow-out that Mr Mulder revealed after the Coalition came to power, coupled with the federal government delaying its funding commitment in order to deal with recent natural disasters, provided a perfect opportunity to have the project properly re-assessed, and for alternatives to be fully explored.
Continue reading Geelong Branch: Regional Rail Link needs independent review, users say

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.
Continue reading Billion dollar rail blowout a blessing in disguise

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

Labor transport policy: Good upgrades, but big gaps remain

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.

PTUA President Daniel Bowen said it was pleasing to see a number of the PTUA’s priorities[1] in the ALP’s policy, and that the deployment of staff to all Metro electrified stations was significant step forward.
Continue reading Labor transport policy: Good upgrades, but big gaps remain

What a mess – a hundred different organisations running public transport in Victoria

Diagram of organisations running public transport in VictoriaThe 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.

“We were staggered to find over a hundred different organisations involved”, said PTUA President Daniel Bowen. “We considered putting the diagram on a postcard to hand out to people to help them navigate the bureaucracy, but it wouldn’t all fit.
Continue reading What a mess – a hundred different organisations running public transport in Victoria

Users present public transport vision

Queuing for busTrains, 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.

PTUA President Daniel Bowen said that in the next four years, significant steps could be taken towards providing all of Melbourne with frequent services, running at least every ten minutes, seven days-a-week.
Continue reading Users present public transport vision