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Media Release

8/01/2004

Public Transport: Abysmal in Maroondah

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) wants Maroondah Council to look at Knox Council for inspiration and finally lobby the state government for better public transport in the poorly served outer east.

The PTUA wants to see real improvements in public transport for 2004 in the long deprived outer eastern suburbs and believes local councils have a crucial role to play in lobbying for these services.

"Throughout 2003 Maroondah Council constantly attacked the state government over the tolling of the Mitcham-Frankston Freeway, yet was silent on the public transport needs of Maroondah", PTUA Vice-President Anna Morton commented.

"How can residents use public transport if it not readily available?" Dr. Morton said.

Census data indicated that the outer and fringe suburbs have a greater reliance on cars, with two or three car families being a common sight in the outer eastern suburbs. This is reflected by the limited public transport options.

"Without having ready and frequent access to public transport, people are forced to spend large amounts of disposable income on car transport, and taxi kids to everywhere they want to go, causing both financial and time pressures on families," Dr Morton said. "Knox City Shopping Centre has no public transport in the evenings despite the popularity of its entertainment precinct."

PTUA data indicated that only one quarter of Melbourne bus services operate on Sundays with even fewer operating during weekday evenings. The outer east has some of the worst public transport in Melbourne, despite being home to almost one third of Melbourne.

"While Knox Council actively lobbies for better public transport, Maroondah just seems to ignore the problem completely", Dr. Morton observed. "While Knox has a long-term vision for public transport, Maroondah has done nothing. While Knox has taken the initiative to fund a public transport study Maroondah has done nothing. It is time for Maroondah Council to rise from a road-based myopia and realise that better public transport benefits the liveability of all residents".

Research indicates that improved public transport can revitalise local suburban districts and can reduce the likelihood of social isolation.

"All levels of government have a responsibility in ensuring the availability of frequent public transport", Dr. Morton said. "While the funding and providing of public transport is a state government responsibility, local councils have a role in advocating and lobbying for better services".

About the PTUA

Founded in 1976, the Public Transport Users Association is the recognised consumer organisation representing passengers of public transport. The PTUA is a non-profit, voluntary organisation with no political affiliation, which lobbies governments and public transport authorities in the interest of all users of public transport.

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898


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Last Modified: 8 January 2004