The draft strategy recommends the Victorian Government prepare a statewide transport plan. The plan should cover all transport modes including motor vehicles, freight, public transport, walking and cycling, and emerging transport services.

Well planned transport networks aim to reduce disadvantage. Transport connects people to their workplaces, education and social opportunities. All Victorians deserve to take part in social and economic life. Well planned transport infrastructure can also enhance physical and mental wellbeing by promoting active transport and reducing pollution.

Victoria's freight volumes are forecast to continue strong growth. Ports and freight terminals are critical for economic development and productivity, and efficiency of Victoria's freight network is vital to support our primary producers.

Improving bus services

Tell us what you think would make buses a more attractive public transport option.

For most Melburnians, buses are the closest public transport option to home. Buses and bus networks are flexible, easy to adapt to changes and inexpensive to build. Buses can can also operate on most roads. Yet public transport usage data tells us people prefer to take trains or trams over buses.

Melbourne’s bus services currently run long distances. Some are infrequent and many run in suburbs with low population and where many people have their own cars. We want to know how we can improve bus services. How we can offer more useful and attractive bus trips for Victorians?

The introduction of premium Smartbus services in the 2000s delivered a higher bus service standard and saw a 70% increase in usage. This included:

  • more frequent services
  • longer operating hours
  • better on-road bus reliability
  • faster travel times, and
  • better customer information.

The redesigned bus network in Brimbank in 2014 saw more people use buses as a result of:

  • more direct and frequent services
  • better connections with train timetables
  • bus services finishing later at night
  • Sunday services on all routes
  • better connections to key local destinations.

What are our draft recommendations?

To encourage more Victorians to embrace buses, our draft strategy update includes the following recommendations:

Bus routes can be designed for different purposes, with three types needed:  •	Premium bus services on the Principal Public Transport Network that are frequent, direct, of a high quality, and coordinated with other public transport modes. •	Connector bus services providing direct, regular connections to the nearest activity centre and linking to higher quality premium bus services and other public transport modes. •	Local bus services that provide access to the nearest activity centre or public transport interchange for those unable to access a direct service.

Draft recommendation 62. Reshape the metropolitan bus network (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)
The Victorian Government should reform metropolitan bus services to better align with community needs. Bus routes can be designed for different purposes. We have identified three types that are needed:

1. Premium bus services on the Principal Public Transport Network that are frequent, direct, of a high quality (like the ‘Smartbus’ model or better), and co-ordinated with other public transport modes. These could include a combination of express services, and services operating in their own right of way, such as busways, and charge the same fares as other buses.

2. Connector bus services providing direct, regular connections to the nearest activity centre and linking to higher quality premium bus services and other public transport modes.

3. Local bus services that provide access to the nearest activity centre or public transport interchange for those unable to access a direct service, especially in low density, low demand areas, like industrial precincts. These can include greater use of flexible bus services, with some demand-responsive features, like the WoodendFlexiRide Service or Telebus services

Draft recommendation 63. Connect suburban jobs through premium buses and road upgrades (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Public transport works more effectively in places where significant numbers of jobs cluster together. Premium bus services have the potential to directly connect people to jobs. In the next five years, the Victorian Government should design and deliver premium bus services between the National Employment and Innovation Clusters (NEICs), surrounding suburbs and other nearby employment precincts. This should begin with the Monash, La Trobe and Sunshine NEICs, before being extended to others. High frequency, high quality premium bus services should be prioritised.

What would make buses more attractive?

Tell us what make you more likely to catch the bus. (max 140 characters).

You have 140 characters left
Moderation Policy

24 March, 2021

ChrisW says:

“Accurate real-time tracking of buses. Currently doesn't work. Should be able to open an app and see every bus, tram & train in real time.”

24 March, 2021

ChrisW says:

“Have useful destinations at both ends of the line - eg #467 could go from Moonee Ponds station to Essendon station via Aberfeldie”

17 March, 2021

Julie says:

“A well constructed, accessible bus interchange in the Melbourne CBD/other interchanges, with easy connections to tram and train services. ”

17 March, 2021

Ivan says:

“Better bus infrastructure, such as quality BRTs with dedicated right of way. Services with at least 10 minute frequencies are needed too”

7 March, 2021

Brett says:

“Buses in Melbourne and larger regional areas (e.g. Geelong) should run until last train, even if it’s a flexi ride or telebus style service”

3 March, 2021

David Dunstan says:

“Make them smaller, they are too big, a hazard to cyclists, cars and unneccessary for passengers. They are often empty. More frequency too.”

27 February, 2021

Mitch says:

“Treat buses like trams: electric, direct routes, easy transfer, frequent usable networks (40 minutes is NOT frequent), same route at night”

26 February, 2021

Jan says:

“Needs ability to carry pushbikes either a rack in-front of bus or underneath ”

25 February, 2021

Peter Hinksman says:

“Bus services are woeful just like Vline regional trains. Unfortunately not enough characters to explain why. Transit times need to be half”

23 February, 2021

Jules says:

“Electric buses, proper timetabling so they run as frequently and as late as trams, and direct routes that don't wind or meander. ”

23 February, 2021

Stewart says:

“A service to my local train station (regional Victoria) which connects to a Vline train that arrives in Southern Cross before 9am”

22 February, 2021

Vincent T says:

“Frequency and closeness to a bus stop/ service. Also, if the utility/ efficiency of the trip improves. ”

Using land reserves for enabling more freight to travel on rail

As Victoria’s population grows over the next 30 years, demand for goods will increase and put pressure on the transport network. For example, the Inland Rail Project that will connect Melbourne and Brisbane will require two new intermodal freight terminals at Truganina and Beveridge.

The amount of freight passing through Melbourne in the coming decades will continue to grow. Melbourne’s major roads and rail network will be important for moving freight. The Department of Transport has identified two locations to develop new freight terminals to meet future demand.

The Department of Transport is planning new intermodal freight precincts at Truganina in Melbourne’s west and Beveridge in Melbourne’s outer north. These will service the state’s growing freight and logistics sector. Read more about this from the Victorian Freight Plan.

There are very little land reserves used for temporary uses like golfing driving ranges, industrial storage facilities and low-cost commercial facilities. These uses tend to be small scale and need minimal investment.

Government can provide greater certainty on the timing of these developments. This will create more opportunities to use this land for temporary uses.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 26. Purchase land for Melbourne’s future freight terminals (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

The Victorian Government should buy land within the next five years for these future freight terminals. Then develop business cases to prepare for their development, including potential delivery arrangements.

These terminals are necessary for meeting the state’s growing freight task. Delays could result in an increase in acquisition costs, in turn not providing investors with certainty to guide their planning. Delays may also allow incompatible land uses surrounding the future freight sites to be developed.

Other relevant recommendations in the draft strategy

Read Section 3.1 of the draft strategy (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF) for recommendations related to shape the transport network for better access.

Read Section 1.4 of the draft strategy (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF) for recommendations related to stay connected to global markets.

Share your ideas of how we can use these land reserves temporarily.

You have 140 characters left
Moderation Policy

23 February, 2021

Stewart says:

“Why wait, build today since the railway network already carries freight and we should be minimising truck travel, regional terminals as well”

1 February, 2021

keren says:

“protect old trees and design around these - observing Tree Protection Zones fundamental ”

19 January, 2021

Clive says:

“Outdoor activities in the land reserves that are low impact, such as mountain biking, hiking, camping etc. ”

15 January, 2021

TimG says:

“Festivals and regional produce/local goods markets”

14 December, 2020

Melbourian says:

“Temporary rental to not-for-profits to hold events, festivals, fundraisers”