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Media Release

05/08/2004

Public Transport: Governments must get ‘on board’

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) is pleased to announce the launch of its Outer Eastern Branch to provide a local voice for public transport advocacy.

"Public transport in the outer east has been continually neglected. The majority of services in Melbourne’s outer east finish too early, are too infrequent and too indirect. Weekends services are also extremely scarce." PTUA Outer East branch convener, Alex Makin said. "Our Outer East Branch comprised entirely of local residents, will provide a local voice and organise local public forums to advocate for better public transport."

Just fifteen percent of Melbourne’s 292 bus routes operate after 7pm during weekdays and even less run on Sundays. Services are particularly infrequent with 30 to 60 minute intervals being common. Sunday services, where they exist, typically operate only every two hours.

"Governments of all levels and persuasion must realise they can no longer ignore public transport. Increasing public transport usage is the only way to maintain liveability in our suburbs." Mr. Makin said.

Research indicates that public transport can revitalise local suburban districts and reduce the likelihood of social isolation. A number of organisations (including the Victorian Local Governance Association) have been concerned that the outer suburbs are fast becoming traffic sewers costing businesses and consumers $5 billion per year in congestion. Mr. Makin a resident of the Outer East for 20 years has first hand knowledge of the public transport neglect facing the outer east.

"I challenge local councils to publicly advocate for better public transport services, following the example set by Knox and Greater Dandenong", Mr. Makin said. "I challenge our state government to match rhetoric with action and provide us with services competitive with car travel. I challenge our Federal government in the eve of an election to recognise the importance of public transport and provide funding for urban public transport infrastructure’.

"The solution is to make public transport competitive with car travel. A network of frequent public transport services running every 10 to 15 minutes from early morning to midnight seven days a week is required", Mr. Makin said. Our first of several public meetings will demonstrate the need and requirements for public transport in Melbourne’s outer east."

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898


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Last Modified: 05 August 2004