Millions for Melbourne bus upgrade

The contract for the first stage of a $32 million upgrade in Melbourne’s east has been awarded

The contract for Stage 1 has been awarded of the $32 million Victoria Parade and Hoddle Bus Upgrade Project in Victoria, which will mean faster and more reliable bus services for Melbourne’s east.

VicRoads has awarded the contract to CityWide to deliver the works on Victoria Parade that will improve travel times and reliability along one of Melbourne's busiest bus routes.

Works on Victoria Parade will include new dedicated bus lanes, improved cycling and pedestrian connections, upgraded bus stops and improvements to signalling to prioritise public transport.

Minister for Roads and Public Transport Terry Mulder says with nearly 20,000 commuters using buses along Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street every day, this is an important project that will make the daily commute to work a better experience.

"Once both stages of the project are completed, someone who travels from the eastern suburbs via public transport every weekday could save around 50 minutes per week," he says.

"Currently inbound travel times between Johnston Street/Hoddle Street and the CBD vary from 22 minutes off-peak to 30 minutes during AM peak. Outbound, travel times vary from 19 minutes off-peak to 40 minutes during PM peak."

Following consultation with the City of Melbourne and City of Yarra, a design has been chosen that will deliver the additional bus lane along Victoria Parade while retaining the existing number of general traffic lanes.

To offset the loss of some car parking spaces along the median, clearway times along Victoria Parade will be removed and additional car parking spaces will be provided in Eades Street.

Member for Doncaster Mary Wooldridge says new higher capacity buses will help move more people, more often between Melbourne and Doncaster on the Doncaster Area Rapid Transit (DART) service.

"In addition to speeding up journey times, we are increasing the capacity of bus services on the DART routes, with the purchase of two additional articulated buses for approximately $1.2 million," she says.

"Each bus provides capacity for 110 passengers, providing capacity for an additional 220 passengers at any one time."

These buses are due to arrive on the network in early 2015 and will be assigned to the DART route with the highest patronage demand.

 The buses will be low-floor, accessible and will have improved passenger comfort features.

Construction of Stage 1 of the Victoria Parade and Hoddle Bus Upgrade Project is expected to start in early November and be completed by June 2015 

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