The Victorian Coalition Government has taken the first step towards giving commuters to and from Doncaster a heavy rail link – a proposal first raised more than 40 years ago.
Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the 2011-12 Victorian Budget provided $6.5 million for a detailed study into the best route for a Doncaster rail link.
"The Coalition is delivering on its commitment to fund this study, the first step in providing residents in the Doncaster corridor with the transport system they deserve,'' Mr Mulder said.
The Budget commitment will examine the best route for a rail line linking Doncaster to the city via Clifton Hill.
"A lack of adequate train or tram services in the area has meant residents in the Doncaster area have been short-changed,'' Mr Mulder said.
Public transport patronage in the Doncaster area is significantly lower than the Melbourne average.
"This study is the first step in ensuring Doncaster residents have direct, rapid public transport services while reducing traffic congestion on the Eastern Freeway," Mr Mulder said.
"Planning for the new rail line will include consultation with local communities and stakeholders on the route and location of the proposed railway stations."
The project will investigate opportunities for commuters to transfer between train lines to integrated tram or bus services or private vehicles.
The study will begin in 2011-12 and will examine a range of issues including cost, environmental impact, potential rail alignment and the impact on the current system.
The study will be overseen by the Coalition Government's new Public Transport Development Authority.
Media contact: Larissa Garvin 0427 669 628