Rural Vic service scrutiny

Bendigo residents make the most of forum on how to improve public transport services

Ideas on how bus, tram and rail services could be improved came thick and fast at a Victorian Government community brainstorming session in Bendigo recently.

The Victorian Government’s Regional Network Development Plan (RNDP) has seen workshops conducted throughout regional Victoria over the last two months.

About 40 people attended the Bendigo session, where the debate was particularly lively.

Victorian minister for public transport Jacinta Allan says a plan for better train and coach services across regional Victoria will be formed and the sooner the better, as people in Bendigo rely on public transport heavily and deserve the best services possible.

"Today’s stakeholder forum will build on last night’s community forum and provide a comprehensive picture of what Bendigo wants from its public transport system," she says.

"Bendigo Metro is a key part of the future transport mix, but I also want to hear about the other train and coach improvements that Bendigo needs to grow and prosper."

The RDNP will set priorities for train and coach services, infrastructure and investment over the next 20 to 30 years.

Regional Victorian public transport users have been quite vocal about a lack of choice regarding coach and rail travel times that aren’t always convenient.

"We have heard from locals in Castlemaine, Echuca and across the Loddon Mallee about the public transport investment, infrastructure and services our regional communities need in the long-term.

"This feedback will form the basis for Victoria’s first long term strategic plan for regional public transport improvements."

Portland, Warrnambool, Colac, Geelong and Torquay will all be visited as part of the traveling workshops in September.

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