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Melbourne’s Public Transport Backlog

Transport plays a significant role in shaping the future of cities. In late August, The Age reported the backlogs in Melbourne’s Transport project and identified the gaps between the planning stage and estimated implementation stage of our transport infrastructure projects.

The article cites concern that the priorities set by state governments does not promise to deliver adequate transport to support the outer suburbs of Melbourne making them more car dependent. The extreme example shown in this case is the Doncaster Rail where the project originally was identified in 1929 Transport Plan and is now aimed for completion in 2027, generating a 98 year gap.

On the other side, the east-west link was a key recommendation in a study by Rod Eddington in 2008 into Melbourne’s east-west travel needs. The project is estimated to be worth $7-8 billion dollars and the government has prioritised it over the other vital rail projects. It has taken the state government only 5 years to make this decision.

For such big investment, it raises questions like are these decisions made for environmental benefits or to benefit the community as whole or is it based on economic analysis only? It is also not clear whether these decisions have any long-term impacts which contributes for future sustainable development or is it just about the power of the decision-makers?

It is evident from the article that the major rail projects like Doncaster line, Rowville line, and Cranbourne East rail extension seem to have backlog period of at least 30 years. Melbourne’s current road traffic conditions clearly demonstrates that it needs to invest more in speeding up the process of planning and implementation of public transport infrastructure and not on freeways that will further demand for more freeways.

By Amruta Pandhe

To read the original Age article click here.

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