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Metropolitan train and tram services

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) : My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Public Transport. The action I seek is for the minister to run metropolitan trains and trams at least every 10 minutes from 6.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m., seven days a week. That would create turn-up-and-go train and tram services across Melbourne on every tram route and almost every train line. All this can be done now using existing infrastructure. Let me be clear: we do not need to wait until Melbourne Metro is complete to get turn-up-and-go services across the network as this relates to off‑peak services and weekend services where there is already plenty of capacity on the network. It is a great mystery that this government—to their credit—is spending so much on infrastructure but seemingly so reluctant to get the most out of that infrastructure and to expend operational expenditure. 

This policy, which was a Greens policy at the last election, was costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office. It found we could achieve 10-minute services for $160 million a year for trains and $40 million a year for trams. Some experts have thought that figure could actually be brought down quite substantially, and it is next to nothing against one of the government’s mega toll roads like the North East Link. Let us see where some of the improvements would be. They would be in my electorate on the Sandringham line where commuters currently have to wait 15 minutes during the day and 20 minutes on the weekend. This is a train line servicing Chapel Street and South Yarra, and these growth areas are waiting 20 minutes for a train on the weekend. It could be done on the Upfield line if trains departed from Coburg in the Brunswick electorate where commuters are waiting 20 minutes. It could be done on the Craigieburn line where commuters are waiting 20 minutes during the day and on weekends. I mean, this is going through the Melbourne electorate, it is going through the northern suburbs. It could be done on the Mernda line where commuters are waiting 20 minutes during the day and on the weekend for a train running through of course the electorate of Northcote. It could be done in Werribee, serving the west—that growth area in Werribee. Of course there are so many tram routes, in particular in my electorate, like the route 78 that runs along Chapel Street where commuters are waiting 15 minutes on the weekend. This is serving Chapel Street. Of course there are the route 6 and the route 72. All of this could be done for relatively little expenditure compared to some of these mega infrastructure projects, and I would urge the government to make the most of the existing infrastructure and put in place turn-up-and-go train and tram services across the metropolitan network.

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