MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council will use the results of a community survey to push the state government to fund a cross-peninsula bus service and rail electrification between Hastings, Langwarrin and Frankston.
As part of council’s ‘better buses’ advocacy campaign and ahead of the Victorian election, the ‘better buses’ survey has tracked people’s views on public transport for the peninsula.
According to the council, an incredible 82 per cent of the peninsula is not serviced by public transport, and there are no opportunities for many residents to catch a regular bus or a train to parts of the peninsula.
Shire mayor Cr Anthony Marsh said the council was demanding better from the state government, including better and more frequent bus services and a commitment to the long-awaited electrification of the rail line beyond Frankton.
“Nearly two hours for a bus ride between Mornington and Hastings is unacceptable, particularly when it would take about an hour to ride a bike between the two towns,” he said.
“We demand better for our travelling community. Young people attending schools, elderly attending essential services and those without means to a private vehicle deserve to be able to get around and participate in daily life.
“Better public transport on the peninsula would provide much needed opportunities for residents to connect to important activity centres in Hastings, Rosebud, Mornington and Frankston.
“These activity centres will not only be much more vibrant places with better and more frequent public transport options but will also experience economic benefit.”
Cr Marsh said there was a need for a cross-peninsula bus service between Hastings and Mornington, as the 18-kilometre journey, via Frankston, currently takes nearly two hours by bus.
Cr Marsh said public transport access was an accessibility issue and one of fairness and equity.
“We all deserve to be able to access work, school and essential services by public transport,” he said.
“There are significant levels of social and economic disadvantage on the peninsula which are worsened by a dependency on private vehicles.”
Among other things, the council’s proposal would see interchanges that connect with the proposed Mornington to Docklands ferry service.
A public transport forum hosted by the Metropolitan Transport at Hastings Community Hub will be held on 12 October, 6.30pm-8pm.
Mayor Cr Anthony Marsh will chair the event with a panel of candidates running in the Victorian election.
Election candidates will have the chance to outline their vision for transport, and community members can ask questions of the panel.
For more information, reserve a seat, or request the live stream link, visit https://bit.ly/3BXDDog
The event will be livestreamed and a video recording will be made available after the event.