Plan for Vic country

Better links between bus and rail the focus of Victorian regional public transport plan

Regional bus and train services will work together more effectively, under a new Victorian Government plan.

Victoria has never had a long-term strategy for public transport outside of Melbourne, but this is about to change with work starting on the plan in June.

The Regional Network Development Plan will set out priorities for regional public transport services, infrastructure and investment over the next 20 to 30 years.

The plan will consider infrastructure upgrades, network extension and rolling stock, including next generation high capacity regional trains to cater for peak demand.

Minister for public transport Jacinta Allan says the lack of a strategy for public transport had held rural and regional Victoria back for too long.

"The Regional Network Development Plan will, for the first time, set out a plan for better public transport in regional Victoria in the short, medium and long-term," she says.

"Melbourne has had a plan for many years and it’s time to bring that forward thinking to the needs of regional Victoria."

Community consultation will begin in the next few months and information received from the public will guide outcomes of the plan.

"Regional public transport users and communities will be front and centre in our plan for better public transport in regional Victoria," Allan says.

"The Andrews Labor Government was elected to improve public transport for all Victorians and that’s what we’re doing."

The Regional Network Development Plan will move Victoria away from ad-hoc service improvements, towards a more coordinated regional public transport network where train and bus services work together to get people where they need to go.

A Regional Transport Advisory Group with representatives from all regions will advise the state government during the consultation process and drive engagement with local communities and councils.

The consultation process will take place over the next three months, and will be a critical part of the development of the plan, which will be finalised for consideration as part of the 2016-17 Victorian budget.

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