Labor Backs Investment In Better Bus Services And Community Consultation

The Andrews Labor Government will not proceed with proposals to radically change metropolitan bus services outlined in recent media reports.

Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said the changes proposed by bus operator Transdev were inconsistent with the Andrews Labor Government’s focus on better bus services across metropolitan Melbourne based on community consultation.

The proposed bus network changes involve cutting services in Melbourne’s north and west, some by more than 20 per cent, in favour of service improvements in the eastern and southern suburbs.

Buses, including Smartbus services, play an important role in connecting people to jobs, education and other modes of transport. Cutting buses, particularly without proper consultation, would leave people isolated and without access to the services they plan their lives around.

Rather than proceeding with the suggested changes, the Andrews Labor Government will direct PTV and Transdev to develop a more balanced bus network proposal in consultation with local communities.

Consultation and investment is at the centre of Labor’s Plan for Victoria’s Bus Network, which the Government took to last year’s election.

The Andrews Labor Government will establish a Ministerial consultative group and new transport forums based around local government areas. These bodies will look at ways to expand and improve public transport, including buses.

In addition, Labor’s $100 million bus plan sets out improvements to specific bus routes, and outlines a range of other measures to make Melbourne’s buses better.

Source: News Release, Premier of Victoria, 14 April, 2015

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