Bus services needed for increased Melbourne rail


More bus services will be needed if rail services to Melbourne are increased, according to PTUA

Bus services needed for increased Melbourne rail
The iconic Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

More bus services will be needed to make use of any extra rail services from Geelong to Melbourne, according to the Victorian Public Transport Users Association (PTUA).

The call comes as the Labor Party has announced it will introduce 20-minute off-peak rail services to Melbourne if elected in November.

PTUA Geelong Branch Convenor Paul Westcott says having more frequent off-peak train services to Melbourne makes rail much more competitive and will help get cars off the road.

However, he says local Geelong bus services need a big boost if passengers are to make full use of any new services.

"It is ironic that, if this comes about, many bus services in Geelong will run less frequently than trains to Melbourne," he says.

"Pressure on rail station car parks is already overwhelming, and new off-peak passengers will struggle to make full use of the increased services with many car parks full by 9am."

Westcott noted it cost about $16,000 to provide just one sealed car parking space at a station and the supply never keeps up with demand.

"The best way to reduce the need to provide yet more expensive station car parking is to run local bus services more frequently and to ensure they actually connect with trains."

Westcott also says the single track between Geelong and the new Waurn Ponds station will limit the effectiveness of any service boost for South Geelong, Marshall and Waurn Ponds passengers.

"Building a new station which can’t be served by every available train is, to that extent, a waste of money," he says.

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