Transport Woes to Hurt Melbournians

By Ellen Singleton

The Coalition Governments spending on roads and cuts to public transport set to leave Melbourne residents in dire situation. 

Sate and Federal Government cuts to public transport and the cities growing population are starting to put pressure on public transport systems.

Melbourne’s population growth over the next 40 years is expected to reach 6.8 million people, with 94% of current residents agreeing that the government needs to spend more on public transport infrastructure.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has pledged $179 million for 8 new trains, though this promise may be put on hold while work continues on the controversial $8 billion East West Link toll road.

In an address to the Melbourne Press Club earlier this year the Premier remained adamant that the State Government does not neglect public transport.

“There is a myth that the Coalition Government is not supportive of rail and public transport. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Melbourne tram and taxi travelling towards the inner city.
Melbourne tram and taxi travelling towards the inner city. Photo – Ellen Singleton

Chairman of Public Transport at Monash University, Professor Graham Currie, is less sure about the Premier’s commitment,

“The current commitment to deal with this growth is 2 bus routes and 1 railway line, and we’re also going to upgrade Ringwood Station. That’s it.” 

“We’ve built ourselves into a really bad situation with the future of our transport.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended cuts to public transport in his book,

“…There just aren’t enough people wanting to go from a particular place to a particular destination at a particular time to justify any vehicle larger than a car, and cars need roads.”

Screen shot 2013-10-08 at 9.12.06 PM

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