Following on from the release of RA’s report earlier this year that examined improving social licence for buses, Infrastructure Victoria has produced a new discussion paper that examines opportunities to obtain better results from Melbourne’s bus network.
Get on board: making the most of Melbourne’s buses identifies several potential reforms that could deliver better results for the government and the customers, noting that:
- Buses are rarely a competitive alternative to cars and other transport. Low frequencies, limited operating hours, and slow and complex routes make buses a less appealing alternative.
- Customers find using the bus network difficult and complex. People who do take the bus often lack real-time information, access to quality stop infrastructure and experience unreliable service levels.
- The existing bus network is inequitable. Access to safe, reliable and affordable transport, particularly in growth areas, gives more Melburnians the opportunity to participate in work, attend social events and study.
- Victorians can get better value from the bus network. Government spends about $800 million every year on the metropolitan bus network, but some communities see limited benefit.
The discussion paper will inform consultation around a final report with recommendations, which IV will publish in late 2023.