VICTORIAN Labor has promised an early morning city to country bus to run on weekends in an attempt to woo Gippsland voters ahead of November’s state election, but details of the service remain unclear.
As part of its state wide Homesafe proposal, which would provide 24 hour public transport in Melbourne on Friday and Saturday nights, the party has promised a 2am bus to from the CBD to Traralgon.
A spokesperson for Labor MLC Matt Viney told The Warragul Citizen details of where the shuttle, one of a number proposed for regional centres, would stop were yet to be determined.
“It’ll depart from Southern Cross at 2am but there’s been no commitment on exactly where it will stop, that will be done in consultation with Public Transport Victoria,” the spokesperson said.
“The commitment is a 2am service to these specific regions with stops to be worked out later.”
The spokesperson said major stations on the Traralgon line would be likely stops, including Warragul and Drouin, but smaller towns would not be serviced because the Princes Highway would allow bus users to easily finish the journey by car.
The role of the bus as a form of Night Rider service for the West Gippsland area is also uncertain.
“We haven’t gone into that because the idea was to get people out of the city,” the spokesperson said.
“I wouldn’t imagine there would not be pick ups at other stops.”
Related: Does Warragul need a late night bus?
The spokesperson said more services could be added as a result of a review one year into the program.
“I imagine this will be well used, so the review will be more if one shuttle is enough.”
“It [will be] implemented because we’re of the opinion people will use it.”
But a service from Traralgon to Melbourne by bus or train after the present last service, which departs Warragul shortly after 8am, has no commitment.
The spokesperson said there was a possibility PSOs could travel on the service to provide security.
Pictured: Gary Blackwood. Image: Parliament of Victoria.
When asked about the proposal late last month, Narracan Liberal MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Gary Blackwood told The Warragul Citizen he had not heard of Homesafe but he opposed it.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of the Homesafe plan, but from what I know so far of Daniel Andrews’ ideas they are totally uncosted, unfunded, and in terms of what he’s saying it’s going to cost he’s only mentioning about 25 per cent of what it actually will cost to provide public transport 24 hours a day seven days a week,” Mr Blackwood said.
“In terms of what happens in… this part of Victoria, we’ve worked very hard on that Night Rider service between Moe and Traralgon which we’ll work hard to maintain.
“But in terms of what Daniel Andrews is putting forward as far as we’re concerned it’s not costed, it’s not funded and really it’s just a bit of a sham.”
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