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Media Release


Traffic Priority A Must For Buses

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called for the funding of bus priority treatments instead of funding a tourist bus along Swanston Street.

"It is imperative that both Melbourne City Council and the State Government provide real public transport improvements instead of a wasteful tourist bus along Swanston Street. This bus would do nothing more than conflict with existing tram services along Swanston Street and cause passenger confusion", PTUA spokesperson Alex Makin said. "Instead funding must be provided to ensure traffic priority for buses within the CBD as this would provide faster journey times and allow more frequent bus services".

The PTUA is in the final stages of preparing its budget submission and comprehensive five year vision for public transport to the State Government. The PTUA has requested $40 million over four years to allow for bus priority treatments such as bus lanes and traffic light priority within the CBD and major roads within Melbourne.

"Melbourne is currently the only capital city in Australia which does not provide bus lanes in its central business district and as a consequence buses are the slowest form of public transport travel within the centre of Melbourne. Bus lanes within the CBD and major roads of Melbourne could speed up bus travel by 25 percent" Mr. Makin said.

The PTUA has proposed Lonsdale and Queen Streets as urgent priorities within the CBD. The PTUA contends that the Melbourne City Council proposal for a tourist bus along Swanston Street would simply duplicate an existing high frequency tram service and would provide little benefit to tourists or passengers.

"It would be much more effective for Melbourne City Council to provide bus lanes within the CBD and hence provide real benefits to the travelling public", Mr. Makin said. "It is Melbourne City Council's best interest to ensure that public transport is as efficient as possible as this ensures less car congestion within the CBD", Mr. Makin said.

"With rising petrol prices it is imperative that public transport and bus travel becomes competitive with car journeys. The creation of bus lanes within the CBD followed by a rollout of bus lanes through Melbourne is required to ensure passengers are provided with fast bus services throughout Melbourne", Mr. Makin concluded.

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 27 October 2005