The Eastern Transport Coalition (ETC) has welcomed today’s (14 September) announcement by the Victorian Government of the first areas across the state to conduct bus reviews.

The ETC is a group of seven Councils advocating for sustainable transport across Melbourne’s east. Manningham – an ETC member Council – has been announced as one of the first Council areas to take part in the review.

Other areas include Moreland, Darebin, Banyule and Hume across Melbourne’s north and Mildura in northern Victoria.

The Chair of the ETC, Cr Stuart James, welcomed Manningham’s inclusion in the first tranche of bus reviews.

“The ETC has long campaigned for a comprehensive review of bus services and networks on a regional basis”, Cr James said. “As the only Melbourne municipality not served by a rail line, and with heavy bus dependency, we are pleased that Manningham is amongst the first areas to have their bus service reviewed.”

Cr James said that the commencement of a bus review process had been flagged in the State Government’s Victorian Bus Plan released last year, and needed a comprehensive approach to achieve real improvements.

“A successful bus review needs to include genuine consultation with Councils, community and those on the ground with real world experience and information on local bus services and needs

“Of equal importance, for the bus reviews to bring about real change, the State Government will need to invest more in bus services.”

Cr James said the reviews should cover issues including a review and refining of existing bus routes, the need for new services, timetabling and coordination, and a role for on-demand/FlexiRide services.

“We hope to see further bus reviews announced soon, prioritised to those areas that are most bus- reliant, including the outer east.”

Further comment, Cr Stuart James, 0413 184 250