From next week students travelling to Monash University's Clayton campus will have a quicker, easier journey, thanks to the introduction of a new express bus service, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced today.
Speaking at Monash University's bus loop, Mr Mulder said the new Route 601 bus service would begin as a $1.25 million one-year trial on Monday 18 July, the beginning of semester two orientation week.
Mr Mulder said buses would depart from Huntingdale Station and run express along North Road/ Wellington Road to Monash University.
"The new Route 601 bus will be the most frequent and direct public transport option for students travelling from Huntingdale Station to Monash University, with services approximately every four minutes during semester time," Mr Mulder said.
"With the introduction of Route 601, there will be three bus routes and nearly 400 trips a day between Huntingdale Station and Monash University, which means shorter wait times and more frequent connections to the University.
"The bus will run express which means the journey time will take only around four minutes."
Mr Mulder said the new Route 601 would add another 226 bus services per day, bringing the total number of weekday services to 395 services per day.
Mr Mulder said year-long trial of the new bus service was based on a similar highly successful service operating between North Melbourne Station and Melbourne University.
"The Route 401 express service between North Melbourne Station and Melbourne University has been up and running for three years," Mr Mulder said.
"It has proven very popular with students, carrying around 20,000 passengers each week and cutting passengers' journey times by about 30 minutes a day.
"We hope that the new Route 601 bus will prove as popular with Monash University students.
"The new Route 601 bus will operate on a pre-pay system, so passengers will need to have a ticket before boarding the bus, which means quicker boarding times and fewer delays in peak times.
"It will operate in the Zone 1/2 overlap, which means passengers can travel with either a Zone 1 or a Zone 2 ticket," Mr Mulder said.
Member for Mount Waverley Michael Gidley said he was thrilled by news of the introduction of an express bus.
"Earlier this year I met with Monash University and Monash students to listen to their transport concerns and represent them directly to Minister Mulder," Mr Gidley said.
"As a former Monash student and the state member for Mount Waverley, I understand the need to improve transport access to Monash University."
During university semesters, Route 601 will operate approximately every four minutes from 7am to 7pm on weekdays only, and every 12 minutes between 7pm and 9.30pm.
Like the 401 to Melbourne University, this is designed to be a "turn up and go" service.
SmartBus Route 900 and local Route 630 will continue to provide services on weekends and public holidays between Monash and Huntingdale.
The Coalition Government has also begun a $2 million Rowville Rail feasibility study which will assess the viability of a future rail link to Monash University.