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MELBOURNE’S transport network would need to cater for 10 million more trips a day by 2050 — an increase of more than 80 per cent — to ease the city’s growing pains.
The Andrews Government wants commuters to ditch the car in favour of public transport, cycling and walking over the next three decades.
The government’s new planning blueprint — Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 — says Melbourne’s transport system needs the capacity to cope with nearly 23 million trips a day by 2050 — almost double the current figure of 12.5 million trips.
Train patronage would be boosted by the completion of the $10.9 billion Metro Rail Tunnel project in 2026.
By placing three of Melbourne’s busiest train lines under the city, the tunnel would free up space in the City Loop to run more trains in and out of the city.
The Metro Rail project will free up space in the City Loop.Patronage on the Upfield line is expected to increase by 71 per cent over a two-hour peak period (up 4500 passengers), rise 60 per cent on the Sunbury line (up 11,300 passengers) and increase 48 per cent on the Sandringham line (up 7200 passengers).
The government says it would create a rail system with better timetabling enabling a “turn up and go” frequency to service the needs of a growing population.
More services would allow easy interchange with other train lines as well as trams and buses, whose routes would also be extended to offer Victorians a better integrated transport system.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan claimed the government was investing more in public transport than any government in Victoria’s history.
“The Metro Rail Tunnel, 50 level crossing removals, line upgrades and extensions and more than 100 new trams and trains — these massive projects will create space to run more services and carry more people as Victoria grows,” Ms Allan said.
The government says it would investigate changes to the road space allocation to prioritise bus and tram movements in key locations.
It also concedes that many of Melbourne’s outer suburbs need to be better serviced by public transport.
Women, families and school-age children would all be encouraged to take up walking and cycling to turn Melbourne into a low-carbon city designed to cope with the effects of climate change.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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