Public transport officials oppose government proposal for East-West Link

Funding for a new East-West Link for Melbourne’s roads misses the point in trying to fix its transportation issues

The Victorian Government is funding all the wrong projects according to transportation experts.

Roads Minister, Terry Mulder is committed to boosting funds for roads to $518 million in the 2012 -2013 period and intends to propose a second East-West Link.

In the foreground, an ageing Victorian bus, with the $15 million Euneva Avenue car park in the background.
Photo by Saúl A. Zavarce

Monash University Chair of Public Transport, Professor Graham Currie is opposed to the East-West Link, claiming that City Link and the M1 upgrade are examples of “induced traffic,”.

“In about a three to five year period after you’ve done a big project like that, the project acts to increase growth in traffic. Not move existing traffic congestion around, it actually acts to increase the amount of traffic on the roads, which creates more congestion,” said Professor Currie.

Professor Currie says that the way forward is to invest in buses, which make up 70% of public transport services, and not in other services like trams.

Budget for new public transport solutions
click to enlarge

In the 2011- 2012 period, the Victorian Government dedicated just $5.5 million to a  new bus route, which is only 3.3km long.

Public Transport Users Association President, Daniel Bowen said that car parks are not a solution to promoting more public transport users, as each car space can cost upwards of $15 000.

“You shouldn’t need to get into your car to use public transport” said Mr Bowen.

Below: Map outlining the route of 2012’s only new bus route, Route 601 – Huntingdale to Monash University Express.

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About Saúl A. Zavarce

Venezuelan-Australian journalist and international relations academic.

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