PT in Vic budget

$1.5 billion is set aside in the Vic budget for major development of the public transport network

Melbourne’s public transport network should see major improvements with $1.5 billion allocated in the state budget.

The planning and design of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project will start soon with $1.5 billion set to be allocated to this and other public transport projects in the upcoming state budget.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement this week, ahead of the full budget announced on Tuesday, May 5.

"The $1.5 billion announced today allows us to design, plan and complete significant early works on Melbourne Metro Rail," Andrews says.

"Melbourne Metro Rail is the biggest public transport infrastructure project in Australia and the biggest overhaul of our public transport system since the City Loop."

It will increase the capacity, reliability and efficiency of Melbourne’s busiest train lines, allowing 20,000 more passengers to use the train system in peak hour.

Andrews says he will remove 20 level crossings over the next four years, which will help bus services become more efficient.

Minister for public transport Jacinta Allan says Melbourne is busting at the seams and any increase in the capacity of our public transport network was a positive step.

"Melbourne’s new underground rail network will move 20,000 extra people in peak hour. The previous Liberal Government abandoned it, but Victoria needs it," she says.

Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) chief executive Margy Osmond also welcomed the Victorian Government’s investment in public transport and is pleased at least some of the $2.29 billion surplus will be used to help people in the community get to their jobs and other appointments.

 "This will provide a critical capacity boost for the entire public transport network," she says.

"TTF research has shown that new public transport infrastructure can increase economic productivity and we are confident that the Melbourne Metro Project will deliver these benefits for Victoria.

"We hope the Victorian budget will also detail the funding stream for the actual construction of the project when it commences in 2018."

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