By Sean Muir | September 18, 2012
Victorian public transport’s top critic Daniel Bowen has made a parting plea for upgraded bus routes and increased bus frequency.
Bowen, who will step down as Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) President next month, says Melbourne’s public transport has improved during his nine-year presidency but there is still more to be done, particularly for bus services.
“The outer suburbs are very reliant on bus services as they don’t get trams and most of them don’t have trains either, so there is certainly a lot more that can be done to improve outer suburban bus services particularly with regards to higher frequency,” Bowen says.
“Realistically, there are a lot of areas of Melbourne that will never have trams or trains – even the most optimistic rail advocate would say there are a lot of areas that will be reliant on bus services for the foreseeable future.”
“It’s a matter of upgrading routes, simplifying the route structure, in a lot of cases, and increasing frequencies to a much more usable level.”
Bowen says he hopes the bus industry will support future bus service expansion.
“There is a lot of change happening in Victoria in terms of the bus industry’s retendering process – hopefully the bus industry will get behind some of the changes that are happening because ultimately as a passenger advocate I want to see more bus services into under serviced suburbs and more bus services are ultimately good for the industry,” he says.
Bowen announced yesterday that he’d decided to take a break and would not seek re-election at the PTUA’s Annual General Meeting on October 11.
“I need a rest, basically,” he says.
“It’s been nine years and it has sat along my real fulltime job and it is pretty full on - at times there are weeks when the phone just keeps ringing non-stop.”
“Hopefully there will be new blood into the organisation that pushes things along and continues to fight the good fight. “