Mr Hibbins (Prahran) — My constituency question is for the Minister for Public Transport. I ask: does the government have a plan to improve public transport along the Punt Road corridor? The best way to increase capacity and reduce traffic along Punt Road is through better public transport, not through an expensive, destructive and pointless road widening, which is still under consideration. One proposal is to create an inner city orbital SmartBus incorporating the 246 bus route, which travels then to the northern and western suburbs. The 246 is one of Melbourne's busiest bus routes, with patronage forecast to grow.
It would benefit from higher frequencies, real-time information displays and traffic light priority, which was originally proposed under the previous Labor government's Meeting Our Transport Challenges plan — however, it was dumped from the subsequent Victorian Transport Plan. With 24/7 clearways having been put in place and working well, now is the time to implement this route and look at other ways to improve public transport along the Punt Road corridor.