Sunday, August 23, 2009

etc meets on myki, monster petition, peak oil and bike cages

Earlier this week the Eastern Transport Coalition met to talk about all things public transport in the East of Melbourne.

This month's meeting included a presentation by the Transport Ticketing Authority about the operation of the MyKi ticketing system being developed for Victoria's public transport. It was reported that the planned date for implementation is late 2009 in Melbourne metro areas and 2010 in V Line regions.

It is a touch on/touch off system which will mean passengers will have to ensure that they not only "touch on" to register they are on but "touch off" so the system can calculate the appropriate fare, something that could be challenging in a peak hour tram, or late night at an unsafe station.

There are a number of issues of concern to the ETC and we will be addressing them with the Minister in the near future.

The ETC's Monster Petition has now moved on from the City of Monash and finds itself in Whitehorse, there has been much interest and activity in the petition, with 1206 signatures collected so far. People in the East are tired of a second class public transport system and the response to the petition has been very positive. The next municipality the petiton will visit is the city of Greater Dandenong.

Peak Oil was another one of the key topics at this month's ETC meeting with three of the member councils having just attended the MAV's Smart Urban Peak Futures conference. Public transport is one of the best ways government can respond to peak oil, predicted to impact by 2013. Much of the discussion was around Dr Jago Dodson (of Griffith University) and his research into the vulnerability of outer suburban areas to increasing mortgages and rising fuel costs but with little opportunity to use alternative transport modes to access work, schools and shops. The ETC will be doing more advocacy about peak oil in the future and I will certainly be taking up the matter with councillors at the Shire of Yarra Ranges too.
The ETC has been advocating for bike cages for some time, we
welcomed the announcement of secure bike storage at the Doncaster Park and Ride and have been working on developing a list of railway stations throughout the ETC region where bike cages could easily be installed. Bike cages give commuters an alternative way of getting to the station in the knowledge that their bike will be safe and secure and are a great way to encourage cycling to stations.

Station car parks are at peak capacity already in Yarra Ranges, we need to think of alternate ways to get people to the station and bike cages are a practical part of the solution.

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