Community consultation on Victoria’s first ever long-term strategy for regional public transport will kick off next month.
The Regional Network Development Plan will set out priorities for regional public transport services, infrastructure and investment over the next 20-30 years.
There has been a metropolitan rail Network Development Plan in place since 2012 but never one for regional services. Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said the lack of a strategy for public transport in the short, medium and long term had held rural and regional Victoria back for too long.
The Regional Network Development Plan will move Victoria away from ad hoc service improvements, towards a more coordinated regional public transport network where train and bus services work together to get people where they need to go.
The plan will also consider infrastructure upgrades, network extension and rolling stock, including next generation high capacity regional trains to cater for peak demand.
A Regional Transport Advisory Group with representatives from all regions will advise the Government during the consultation process and drive engagement with local communities and councils.
The consultation process will take place over the next three months, and will be a critical part of the development of the Regional Network Development Plan, which will be finalised for consideration as part of the 2016-17 Budget.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan
“The Regional Network Development Plan will, for the first time, set out a plan for better public transport in regional Victoria in the short, medium and long-term.”
“Melbourne has had a plan for many years and it’s time to bring that forward thinking to the needs of regional Victoria.”
“Regional public transport users and communities will be front and centre in our plan for better public transport in regional Victoria.”
“The Andrews Labor Government was elected to improve public transport for all Victorians and that’s what we’re doing.”