Melbourne’s public transport set for decades of tension

East West Link the problem as along with population boom, is set to congest Melbourne’s roads and public transport networks for decades. Tom Hussey reports.

Crowding on Melbourne's trains set to last for decades.
Crowding on Melbourne’s trains is set to last for decades. Picture: Tom Hussey

MELBOURNE is set for 20 to 30 years of continued public transport tension, according to Monash University Chair of Public Transport, Professor Graham Currie.

Professor Currie said Metro, melbourne’s rail service, would be lucky to keep pace with the current crowding due to a boom in population.

“We’re going to grow by Adelaide in the next 20 years – 1.3 million people,” he said.

“The current commitment to deal with this growth is two bus routes and one railway line… thats it.”

Former President of the Public Transport Users Association, Daniel Bowen said it was up to the Government rather than Metro, to ease transport strain.

“That infrastructure is owned by the government and its up to the government to fix it,” he said.

Mr Bowen also said that major road projects like the East West Link was sucking billions of dollars out of potential public transport upgrades.

“The East West road tunnel doesn’t make sense in terms of developing the city,” he said.

Professor Currie also said the East West Link was set to worsen the situation, with the Federal Government forecasting congestion in Melbourne to double by 2020.

“After you’ve done a big project like that it acts to increase growth in traffic…which creates more congestion,” he said.

Source: Department of Planning and Community Development

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