More than 15 million additional bus trips
Added: 18 May 2012
New research shows that the number of passenger trips on Melbourne buses has risen by more than 15 per cent. In the year ended December 2011, an additional 15.3 million bus trips were taken in Melbourne - a total of more than 117 million trips.
Public Transport Victoria (PTV) research shows the increase in patronage is a result of new bus routes, route upgrades, population and employment growth in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, as well as the strategy and investment focused on routes 401 and 601, SmartBus and Doncaster Area Rapid Transit (DART).
PTV CEO Ian Dobbs said the figures show that strategic, integrated planning of the public transport network is delivering results, and that the latest investment announcements provide a clear direction to further improve public transport for Victorians.
“These figures show that when bus routes are well planned and cater to people’s needs, people vote with their feet. More Melbournians than ever are choosing to get on the bus,” Mr Dobbs said.
High frequency bus connection routes 401 (connecting North Melbourne Station to hospitals and Melbourne University) and the 601 (connecting Huntingdale Station with Monash University) are major success stories that have contributed almost eight per cent of the growth experienced to end December 2011.
Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the Government’s confidence in these highly efficient bus routes was reflected in the $5.5 million funding in the 2012-13 State Budget for the Route 601 express bus to Monash University.
“Following its successful trial, this investment will allow Route 601 to be an ongoing public transport service,” Mr Mulder said.
“There are now up to 22,000 passengers using the 601 service each week during the semester, with four dedicated low-floor buses and services running on average every four minutes.”
For the year to December 2011, patronage on the combined SmartBus orbital routes increased more than 40 per cent, adding 4.4 million passenger trips annually. The DART network and other services in the Doncaster area resulted in 980,000 additional trips over the same period.
“PTV has a clear goal to continue this improvement and to further improve connections between buses and other modes of transport,” said Mr Dobbs.
“The new train timetable on April 22 this year delivered significant improvements to the train network, and large changes were made to timetables on almost half of Melbourne's bus routes to provide better connections between buses and trains.
“With a total of 353 new services added to the train network, we see this as just the first stage of a planned network-wide 10-minute train frequency at key off-peak periods across Melbourne.”
Some 572.7 million trips were made on Melbourne’s trains, trams and buses in 2011, showing annual growth of 4.7 per cent. Tram patronage grew a healthy 6.5 per cent to 187.7 million boardings while bus patronage grew 15.5 per cent to 117.1 million boardings. As expected, train patronage decreased 1.5 per cent to 223 million boardings, following a period of unprecedented growth.