A Charter for Melbourne Metropolitan Transport
State governments of Victoria have for many years given priority to building new transport infrastructure above planning and delivering an integrated public transport service. This priority is being challenged by the public, and governments are now responding. A plan to serve the mobility needs of the public must form the context within which priorities for infrastructure are considered. The mobility plan must implement the Transport Integration Act, Victoria (2010) which states:
‘The transport system and land use should be aligned, complementary and supportive and ensure that – transport decisions are made having regard to the current and future impact on land use, land use decisions are made having regard for the current and future development and operation of the transport system’ (section 11).
‘The transport system should … facilitate integrated and seamless travel within and between different modes of transport’ (section 12)
The mobility plan should extend from the short term (what is achievable within 3 years) through the medium (10 years) and long term (20 years). Longer term planning means keeping options open to change direction as new circumstances come to light.
Public transport service in the outer suburbs, including growth areas, is very poor. Much more attention should be paid to providing public transport for shorter journeys to relieve outer urban road congestion, as well as improving the ease and speed of public transport for outer-inner commuter journeys.
The emphasis upon motorway building over the years has failed to reduce congestion throughout the road system. Public transport basic infrastructure has been allowed to decay. High quality public transport will ease traffic congestion on the roads. City transport systems built around public transport not only enable a better urban environment with healthier outcomes, but cost less to the public than systems built around the private car.
Victorian taxpayers spend nearly three billion dollars per year on Melbourne’s public transport, not including the fares they pay. They have a right to better value than the system currently provides. They expect and demand a high frequency, integrated service. They expect a plan to improve the service continuously, and they expect transparent and easily understood reporting of the implementation of that plan. Therefore Transport for Melbourne proposes the following draft Charter: