As Melbourne grows, the demands placed on the transport network will continue to increase. Growing pressures on limited road space are significant and increasing traffic and parking congestion will negatively impact the economy and detract from liveability.
The southern suburbs of Beaumaris and Black Rock and some areas of Brighton East are heavily reliant on buses as their sole form of public transport. However, the current public bus network in Bayside is extremely limited by:
- Very low service frequencies of 30 minutes or worse;
- Circuitous, non-direct and slow routes that discourage patronage;
- Short service days and missing service days; and
- Poor coordination with rail services.
The state government has taken some steps to address these issues in other regions by route rationalisation, however change has been very slow and hampered by lack of available funding. As such, there have been no improvements in services within Bayside.
Urgent improvements to bus services and connectivity with train schedules are necessary to make buses a realistic and attractive transport option for the Bayside community. A full review of bus services across Bayside should be conducted, including timely engagement with the community and Council, as part of designing and implementing changes to meet the transport needs of the community.
The current state of bus services presents a real opportunity for the Victorian Government to improve the public transport system. Buses add capacity and flexibility to the transport network with significantly less investment than major road or rail projects.
Council has identified a range of actions that would add significant value to the public transport network in Bayside:
- Improve bus service frequencies for all bus routes to every 10 minutes during peak hours; and every 20 minutes during the inter-peak and off-peak periods;
- Extend bus services later into the evening;
- Conduct a full bus service review of all rail-bus interchange connections within the municipality in order to improve bus-rail service connectivity;
- More bus shelters at bus stops within Bayside;
- Bike racks on all bus routes to integrate bicycle trips with bus trips; and
- Resource genuine community engagement as part of designing and implementing any public transport service changes effecting Bayside, including timely engagement with the community and Council.
On-road public transport, specifically buses, can add capacity and flexibility with significantly less investment than major road projects.
On-going funding is needed to develop and implement improvements to the State’s bus network to improve service frequency and reliability, travel time reliability and network integration, particularly in Bayside’s southern suburbs which are reliant on buses as their only form of public transport.
This provides a whole-of-network approach to address issues experienced by all public transport users and will ultimately lead to patronage increases on the bus network, reduce traffic congestion on all roads, and parking congestion at transport hubs and activity centres.
Buses offer flexibility to the network and are a very cost effective option.