Melbourne's public transport future open for discussion

The City of Melbourne has released a Public Transport Network discussion paper, setting out issues and possible solutions to existing and potential public mobility problems as the city grows.

The Public Transport Network discussion paper, informed by research by the University of Melbourne and RMIT, highlights a range of ideas, including supercharging the tram network, planning for new rail network infrastructure and creating orbital routes to link suburbs without having to travel via the city.

Chair of the Transport portfolio Councillor Nicolas Frances Gilley said Melbourne's public transport network is already under strain.

"We know that at the moment, 69 per cent of central city workers arrive by public transport. The number of people living, working and visiting the City of Melbourne is set to grow by 50 per cent in the next 20 years," Cr Frances Gilley said.

"We need to accommodate them and the public transport projects that have been committed to are not enough, the crucial Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel will be at capacity soon after it's completed."

The discussion paper introduces the possibilities of Melbourne Metro 2, a proposed rail tunnel to link Newport to Clifton Hill via Fishermans Bend, and Melbourne Metro 3, a concept to link north-west renewal areas to the airport and the central city.

"Within ten years the number of people travelling through Melbourne Airport will be comparable with Heathrow today, which has three rail lines connecting passengers to London," Cr Frances Gilley said.

"With our projected population boom we'll need several public transport connections to the airport."

Feedback on the Public Transport Network discussion paper, along with the recently released Walking and Public Space papers, will inform a new draft Transport Strategy.

"Our new transport strategy is about future proofing the city, and maintaining our status as the 'most liveable'," Cr Frances Gilley said.

"We don't have all the answers, so we're posing a series of 'what if?' questions, like 'what if we removed cars from tracks to free trams from traffic'?

"We want people to think about what sort of future they want for Melbourne and tell us their big picture ideas on how to make our public transport more efficient.'"

The community is invited to submit opinions, ideas and feedback via City of Melbourne's Transport Strategy Refresh Participate website. Additional discussion papers will be released over the next two months.

More information is at the Participate Melbourne website

The Transport Strategy Discussion Paper is available here.

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