The Andrews Labor Government today released the first ever long-term strategy for public transport in regional Victoria.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan joined local Members, stakeholders and passengers in Warragul today to launch Connecting Regional Victoria – Victoria’s Regional Network Development Plan (RNDP).
The RNDP sets out a short, medium and long-term plan for more trains, improved stations and better bus and coach services, to get people where they need to go quickly, reliably and safely in regional Victoria.
It moves Victoria away from ad hoc public transport improvements, to a more coordinated public transport network where trains, buses and coaches all work together to get people where they need to go.
The RNDP outlines the series of infrastructure and rolling stock improvements required to deliver commuter-style services to Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Seymour and Traralgon – including track upgrades, better signalling and new trains and stabling.
In the long term, the goal of the RNDP is to deliver trains at least every 20 minutes in the peak and every 40 minutes off-peak to these major regional centres, and five services, five days a week on the outer regional lines of Warrnambool, Bairnsdale, Albury-Wodonga, Echuca, Swan Hill and Shepparton.
Regional coaches will be improved, with more services, better interchanges and a comprehensive review of routes, to improve connections between towns and major regional centres. Local bus services will also be reviewed and improved, to ensure bus networks grow and change as regional communities do.
The RNDP also sets out plans for future improvements to ticketing on regional services, better passenger information, and major improvements to rail freight to support jobs and our regional economy.
The RNDP is the product of one of the largest public consultation programs ever carried out in regional Victoria, with nearly 40 workshops held right across the state, gathering more than 15,000 individual pieces of feedback.
This feedback was critical in the development of the strategy and the recent Victorian Budget 2016/17, which funded more than 170 extra services, 27 new VLocity carriages, and provided nearly $200 million to rebuild V/Line, so it is ready to deliver the huge improvement to public transport set out in the RNDP.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“This is the first ever long-term strategy for better public transport in our regions, with more services, improved stations and better bus and coach connections, to get people where they need to go quickly, reliably and safely.”
“The RNDP ends the ad-hoc approach to public transport planning that has held regional Victoria back, setting out a more coordinated network where trains, buses and coaches work together in the best interests of passengers."
“It is the product of one of the most extensive public consultation programs every carried out in regional Victoria, and reflects the passion, ingenuity and local knowledge of passengers who our system every day.”
“The Andrews Labor Government believes in public transport in regional Victoria, and is investing the time, energy and funding needed to make it better – now and in the future.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020