Public transport investment welcome

La Trobe University has welcomed the announcement that a re-elected Napthine Government would allocate $815 million to the Growing Northern Suburbs Transport Package.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said a pre-election commitment  by the State Government of significant investment in both public transport and roads across Melbourne's northern suburbs was welcome news for students and staff who travel by public transport or car to the Bundoora campus each day.

'La Trobe University has been advocating for some time for the need for more frequent, reliable train services on the South Morang line,' Professor Dewar said.

'The announcement by the Premier on October 21st, of $20 million to fund ten-minute weekday train services on the South Morang line will go a long way towards improving overall student and staff journey times between Melbourne's CBD and the University's Melbourne campus at Bundoora and will help reduce connection times between trains and buses.

However, Professor Dewar said the commitment by the State Government failed to allocate funding to the missing link in the public transport offering in Melbourne's north – a high frequency express shuttle bus service between Reservoir Train Station and the Melbourne campus at Bundoora.

'It is great news that a re-elected Napthine Government would improve rail services, but this is only part of the solution. We need more frequent bus services so that our students can get to the University quicker, and complement the additional train services announced for the South Morang line.

'The current 561 bus service which runs between Reservoir Train Station and the local campus has recorded a 154 per cent increase in patronage since 2011 and is now the preferred mode of public transport access to the Bundoora campus,' Professor Dewar said.

'Similar shuttle services are already in place for other Universities and are heavily patronised.

'I urge both the State Government and Opposition to commit to what is very little funding for a bus service which will be fully utilised by La Trobe staff and students and has the support of Public Transport Victoria,' he said.

Media queries: Tim Mitchell, Director, Media and Communication (03)9479 5246/ 0437 457780

Image credit; Sam Churchill/Flickr

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