Friday, April 23, 2010

etc meets with minister

Yesterday, in my role as chairperson of the Eastern Transport Coalition, I met with the Minister for Public Transport, Martin Pakula. The Eastern Transport Coalition was there to discuss solutions for transport woes in Melbourne's east.

Accompanied by the ETC deputy, Cr Mick Van De Vreede, we discussed a range of transport solutions with the Minister, from improved bus services for the region through to feasibility studies for rail extensions to Doncaster and Rowville.

On rail...
While Government has said that those rail extensions aren't in the current Victorian Transport Plan, it's important that feasibility work is done now so that these projects can be implemented into the future.

The Victorian Transport Plan is chiefly based on Sir Rod Eddington's 2008 transport report, extensive as it was, the Eddington report did not consider transport needs east of Warrigal Road. It is no wonder that the VTP struggles to provide for the people of Melbourne's east.

On buses...
The much lauded and recently released Bus Service reviews were an opportunity for government to make some much needed changes, however the announcements fell way short of the needs of local communities.

The Smart Bus system is extremely well patronised and often commuters struggle to get on the popular service (particularly the 900), however the recent reviews provide very little detail on when new and more frequent services might be implemented.

We hear time and time again that buses are the answer for the East. If that's the case we need them now.

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