Manningham Council is calling on the newly elected State Government to honour plans made by its predecessor to reduce travel times on buses between Doncaster and the city.
The former State Government committed $10.6 million in the 2014-2015 State Budget to the Doncaster Area Rapid Transit (DART) Service, which included plans for a new dedicated bus lane on the outbound approach of Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street from the CBD towards the Eastern Freeway.
Manningham Mayor, Cr Paul McLeish, said the additional bus lane would cut travel times by 10–15 minutes in peak traffic and benefit nine regular bus services, including DART. On an average weekday, 464 buses travel along the outbound lanes of Hoddle Street.
“Hoddle Street serves as a major arterial gateway for travel between the CBD and Manningham, and improved access along this route is critical for our 12,000 daily DART users. Hoddle Street plays a significant role for commuters, as public transport represents 36 per cent of all vehicle traffic on this road.”
The Coalition Government’s funding commitment came after an analysis by VicRoads and engineering consultants Aurecon in 2012, which calculated a benefit-cost ratio of between 8.8 and 11.1 for each dollar spent by putting bus-only lanes on Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street.
Cr McLeish said it makes financial and common sense for the Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street bus upgrade project to proceed without delay.
“The City of Manningham remains the only municipality in Melbourne without either train or tram services, so we are solely reliant on a reliable, direct and frequent bus service to encourage our residents to use public transport.”