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Geelong Branch Media Release

28/02/2001

The PTUA calls for a "fair go" on buses

The PTUA today called on the Bracks Government for a "fair go" for Geelong's bus travellers, after recent changes to Geelong's urban bus system have meant that some passengers are now waiting almost an hour between peak bus services.

Tim Petersen, spokesperson for the Geelong Branch of the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA), said some bus routes, most notably in the Belmont, Highton and Waurn Ponds area, have been left with buses running only every 55 minutes. "Meanwhile, Lara still gets sub-standard services, and some newer housing estates still get no service at all."

Benders Busways, operators of most of the urban Geelong GTS system, have said that despite reduced frequency on some routes, their service hours and route kilometres have actually increased on the system as whole. "Yet the government hasn't provided any extra resources to bring new routes up to the standard frequency," Tim Petersen said.

"It is particularly disappointing that despite taking the Labor MP's on the PTUA's well-publicised 'bus tour,' (where Peter Loney, Elaine Carbines and Ian Trezise all saw the problems of the bus system first-hand,) no service improvements have been forthcoming from the government."

"In fact, aspects of the GTS system have actually deteriorated since the Bracks Government came to power," Tim Petersen said. "Despite our warnings to MP's, the Bracks Government wrote contracts which allowed private operators to drop the integrated timetable booklet. Now passengers have to collect up to 14 different timetables to know how to make trips across the city."

The PTUA is calling on the Bracks government for three main measures to be taken, to bring the system up to a barely acceptable level:

One- To increase the frequency of buses to a minimum half-hourly service, particularly on Belmont/Waurn Ponds, East Belmont/Grovedale and Lara routes.

Two- To work with bus operators (and provide extra resources,) to make sure a bus from each route meets every train to and from Melbourne.

Three- To introduce as an absolute minimum, Saturday-standard timetables and services on Sunday. "Sunday buses are still going on circuitous routes that can take almost an hour to get passengers into or away from the city," Tim Petersen said.

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 28 February 2001