Better tram services possible…but

If you’re a regular listener to the show, you’ll know we love to rant and rave about the woeful condition of public transport in Victoria.  And it would come as no surprise that we love stories to help vent our spleen about.  This one comes from one of our ranters, but we’d love to know what you think – so vote in the poll at the end of the post.

Originally posted at Alex Schlotzer’s blog

It would seem that few mainstream media outlets felt it necessary to publish a detailed article about the Victorian government’s refusal to consider a reasonable proposal to improve tram timetables. The proposal from Keolis, the new tram operator, would have seen 24 hour rail services on Friday and Saturday.

From the minor accounts dished up, it appears the Victorian Premier, John Brumby, arrogantly dismissed the proposal offering that his government had done enough to address late night tram services. However, it’s not the first time such proposals had been knocked back by the Department of Transport and the Minister. Similar proposals by Yarra Trams had also been rejected.

Amazingly, the state government seems loath to provide better services. I think providing 24-hour servics on Friday and Saturday nights would help ease some of the apparent violence by giving people affordable ways of getting home (I do not necessarily believe the hype surrounding Melbourne’s violent streets). Relying on taxis in the wee hours of the morning can provide a great deal of headaches as punters fight over scant taxis with a seeming dis-organised taxi rank system. Although I know the cabbies do their best. Apparently the Brumby Labor government is doing what it can to ‘stem the violence on Melbourne’s city streets’, when it proves that the government is either too arrogant or too tired to consider ‘different’ ideas for addressing such issues.

These kinds of proposals improve the accessibility of the city for people on or close to tram routes. And helps address a need to provide cheaper ways for people to leave the city after a big night out. Of course this isn’t a catch all idea to deal with Melbourne’s overwhelming need for more public transport options and/or the apparent late night/early morning violence on the city’s streets; it at least illustrates a certain degree of ineptitude on behalf of the state government and its transport department.

Clearly the State is holding back better tram timetables.

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