Biggest Public Transport Investment In Victoria’s History

The 2015-16 Victorian Budget contains the biggest investment in public transport in Victoria’s history, with almost $20 billion worth of major transport infrastructure to get people home to their families safer and sooner.

The Budget lays the foundations for a public transport system able to move millions more people as Victoria grows into Australia’s most populous state.

The Andrews Labor Government’s first Budget commits up to $2.4 billion to kick start the removal of 50 of Victoria’s most dangerous and congested level crossings and $1.5 billion for planning, design and significant early works on the Melbourne Metro Rail Project.

As announced this week, $2 billion will go towards new trains, trams and jobs for Victoria including:

  • $1.3 billion for 37 new, high-capacity metropolitan trains with a 50 per cent local content requirement.
  • $274 million for 20 new E-Class trams to be built in Dandenong and associated network upgrades.
  • $257 million for 21 new VLocity regional carriages also to be built in Dandenong.
  • $90 million for the five new X’Trapolis trains to be built in Ballarat.
  • $75 million to extend the life of more than 70 Comeng trains in the existing metropolitan fleet.
  • $21 million to commence the refurbishment of the B-Class Tram fleet.

$55.6 million is also provided for Stage 1 of Victoria’s first trial of High-Capacity Signalling, which will roll out on the Sandringham line.

The Budget includes $50 million to trial Homesafe – a plan for all night public transport on weekends, to begin on 1 January next year, that will get shift workers and late night travellers home safely.

Catching a bus around Melbourne will be easier and more convenient, with $100 million in the Budget for bus upgrades. This includes improved bus services to universities including La Trobe, Deakin, and Melbourne University.

Monash University will benefit from a $5 million investment to upgrade the Huntingdale Bus interchange, as well as $2.6 million for car parking improvements.

The parking allocation is part of a $18.8 million road and rail minor works fund, which will pay for critical maintenance and improvements to the transport network.

The Budget also includes:

  • $50.5 million to upgrade 52 level crossings in regional Victoria.
  • Up to $220 million for the Murray Basin Rail Project once the business case is finalised, which is expected to occur in coming months. $30 million was fast-tracked in February to get work started.
  • $13.1 million to upgrade the Frankston Station precinct, with $50 million to be made available in subsequent budgets once the business case is finalised.
  • $9 million for planning and preparation of the business case for the Mernda Rail Link, with the remaining funds being made available in future Budgets.
  • $4 million for the Taxi Hardship Fund.
  • $2 million for the Bendigo Metro Rail Project.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan

“The Andrews Labor Government is investing in the transport projects that Victoria needs, so people can get to work and get back home to their families safer and sooner.”

“This investment is a part of the Labor Government’s plan for a high-capacity, high-frequency train system where you don’t need a timetable – you just turn up and go.”

“We’re getting on with it – transforming our public transport system, reducing congestion on our roads and improving safety and services for all Victorians.”