THE Better Buses campaign has been hailed as Mornington Peninsula Shire’s “most successful advocacy and community engagement to date”.
The shire’s Quarterly Community Report: January-March 2020 said the campaign backed a push by public transport users for better bus services across the peninsula of which about 82 per cent is not serviced by public transport (“Shire’s push for better bus services” The News 2/9/19).
“We have been overwhelmed by the level of community support for our Better Buses campaign. About 92,500 people have engaged with us,” the shire’s innovation and advocacy executive manager Tania Treasure said in the report released last week.
“Since the campaign was launched we have met with the public transport minister [Melissa Horne] and communicated to government our overwhelming community feedback, [seeking] increased frequency, and better and expanded bus routes.
“We continue our advocacy to the state government on behalf of our community to ensure Mornington Peninsula residents have the public transport system they deserve.”
The campaign launched last September generated by 34 mentions in the media, including The News, daily papers and radio, which reached a potential audience of 444,000 people.
Discussions were also held with local MPs and by councillors in their regular community engagements as well as with officers of the Department of Transport.
The shire’s community consultation with residents involved using pop-up sites at markets and shopping centres where the public response was said to be “overwhelmingly positive”.
Based on this “high” level of community support the shire wants the state government to commit to providing improved bus services to the peninsula in the upcoming state budget.
The aim is for a 50 per cent increase in bus frequency, 45 per cent better bus routes, and 40 per cent expanded bus routes.