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Offline ozbob

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Article: Outer suburbs 'missing out' on services
« on: October 13, 2008, 02:01:34 PM »
From the Melbourne Age click here!

Outer suburbs 'missing out' on services

Outer suburbs 'missing out' on services

    * Jason Dowling
    * October 13, 2008

ONLY one out of every 100 residents in some of Melbourne's outer suburbs use public transport alone to get to work, a report shows.

The parliamentary report into outer suburban economic development found that in one of those areas, the south-east's Casey, almost 70% get to work by car alone.

The Victorian parliamentary committee report highlighted failures in the "availability, reliability, and cost of alternative transport, especially public transport" and called for "more timely, responsive and cost-effective" transport improvements.

"Many residents either willingly or unwillingly endure lengthy, time-consuming and expensive daily commutes by greenhouse-polluting private cars - driven along increasingly congested roadways - to reach their workplaces," the report noted. It said "based on overwhelming evidence" the committee concludes that "additional investment in sustainable transport infrastructure" was vital for ongoing economic development in Melbourne's outer suburbs.

Other recommendations include:

*  Improved minimum public transport standards in outer suburbs;

*  Increased bus services and park and ride facilities;

*  Consideration of commercial water transport services on Port Phillip Bay with new berthing facilities at Mornington;

*  A cost-benefit analysis of completing the "missing link" between the Metropolitan Ring Road and the Eastern Freeway and an analysis on when a new Melbourne Airport rail link will be needed; and

* Free public transport for the unemployed to attend job interviews.

Committee chairman George Seitz said the State Government was working with local government to improve transport services in Melbourne's outer-suburbs. "We the committee admit through our recommendations that there is a need for improvement," he said.

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said an urgent upgrade of suburban public transport was overdue. "The outer suburbs are missing out on viable public transport for most trips at the moment. If you live in the inner suburbs you can probably walk down to the end of your street and catch a tram that runs every 10 minutes or so seven days a week. The outer suburbs are stuck with mostly hourly bus services which are no substitute for driving your car," he said.

The committee, equally divided between government and non-government members, noted Melbourne University research that showed "more cars are driven to work each day in Melbourne than in Sydney, despite Sydney's much bigger workforce".

"The share of workers who drive is now higher in Melbourne than in Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart and even Canberra. This appears to be a result of Melbourne having constructed more urban freeways and tollways over the last 30 years than any other capital."

The report comes as divisions emerge in the Victorian Labor Party's transport policy committee over support for new freeways and before the Government's 30-year, $20 billion state transport plan, to be released next month. It said: "Melbourne has been labelled the 'worst performing city over the (past) three decades' in terms of reducing its dependency on private car transport."
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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“You can't understand a city without using its public transportation system.” -- Erol Ozan