Australia, Bus Industry News, Opinion

Hume City mayor calls for better bus network

The Hume City mayor says the state government should commit to funding for an improved bus network in northern growth regions of Melbourne

The mayor of Victorian region Hume City has thrown their support behind bus travel providing the state government supports the infrastructure needed to keep the network running.

Naim Kurt has joined growing voices of support for a bus focus, advocating for a better bus network across the state.

This time last year, Kurt says Infrastructure Victoria called for more buses and exclusive bus lanes on major roads, highlighting that enhancing bus networks offers a faster and more cost-effective solution to improve public transport connectivity when compared to rail lines.

In December, another infrastructure report relevant to Hume City supported this call.

Kurt told Melbourne Radio that the buses that Hume City has don’t currently run “very direct routes and are pretty irregular in the way they run”.

He says the frustration is causing locals to avoid buses, with an improvement of the network potentially leading to this issue being solved.

“We need to have a change in perception around buses in our community,” he says.

“The perception we have is that they’re infrequent, indirect and inaccessible. So, they become unattractive to use in hot or bad weather.”

As one of Victoria’s fastest growing municipalities, Kurt knows that an improved bus route would be an important addition to northern growth areas like Hume City.

“There’s really one train line that exists to access our northern area,” he says.

“All the new train routes that are being built, they’re being designed in the south eastern suburbs. If we get bus routes happening, it can be done quicker, cheaper and we can get people moving faster.”

Kurt believes government spending on transport could be better directed to ways that will serve more locals, such as a revamped bus network, over other big transport projects that serve Melbourne’s built-up areas.

“In our area, where housing is more affordable, families move in and often need to have a number of cars to be able to move around,” Kurt says.

“Hume residents are paying a ‘car tax’ because we don’t have access to better public transport, and we don’t have the options other Melburnians have.”

Kurt says the proof is there for what needs to happen to make lives easier for Hume City locals.

“The investigation into this issue has been happening, we now need the government to step up and implement the findings,” he says.

Send this to a friend