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NYE Transport Totally Inadequate

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has hit out at what it describes as totally inadequate plans for New Year's Eve public transport services.

"We would love to tell people they can rely on public transport to get them home after the fireworks", said PTUA president Daniel Bowen. "But we know from past years many people will struggle to board overcrowded trams and will be left to fend for scarce taxis. The Bracks Government is clearly not serious about providing adequate public transport for New Year's celebrations".

Most tram routes will only have 4 trams leaving the city at 20 minute intervals, and many train lines will only get two services after the fireworks finish.

The City of Melbourne estimates that 300,000 people will be in Melbourne for the fireworks - around five times more people than a typical MCG crowd. The PTUA believes intensive, frequent extra services are required after the fireworks, similar to those used to shift MCG crowds, and that services should run later into the night to allow people to enjoy themselves for longer after the fireworks. Even if all scheduled services were used to capacity, the PTUA calculates that less 1 in 5 people in the city could use public transport to get home.

"Moving big crowds is what public transport should be best at. The public transport operators know how to do this - they do it every year for the Grand Prix, cricket and football. It's not rocket science. We need intensive frequent services on every route out of the CBD to get people home", said Mr Bowen.

Perth, Adelaide and Sydney are running trains all night. Sydney is running all major bus routes all night and Adelaide has free public transport after midnight aimed at encouraging people not to drink and drive. The starkest contrast comes at 2am, when Melbourne will have just 13 premium ticket Nightrider routes operating, while Brisbane will have 51 routes, Perth will have 54 routes, and Adelaide will have 79 routes running from the city.

"Melbourne's New Year's Eve public transport is a complete joke when compared to other Australian cities", said Mr Bowen. "Cities with a third of Melbourne's population and without the concerts and fireworks that attract hundreds of thousands get a far better service. Why does Melbourne deserves such a poor service?"

Comparison of Public Transport in Major Australian Cities on New Years Eve 2003

PTUA Office 9650 7898

Last Modified: 28 December 2003