Wheels turning on regional Vic bus review

·2-min read

Public transport options in regional areas can be few and far between and in the Victorian city of Mildura they rarely go where needed, prompting the first review of the network in decades.

The Victorian government's examination over the next five weeks will include face-to-face and online consultation with the community.

Last year's Census found more than a third of Australians live outside of greater capital cities.

Access to transport networks and services was uneven across the nation and regional infrastructure tends to be poorly maintained, according to the latest Australian Infrastructure Audit.

Independent MP Ali Cupper said she had been working on securing the bus service review with Mildura Rural City Council since shortly after the 2018 state election.

"It has been more than 20 years since our bus service was last reviewed and our community has grown and changed a lot since then," Ms Cupper said.

"It's bad enough that we don't have a passenger train connection to our capital city, but to have such an outdated bus network within Mildura was unacceptable."

Passenger train services to Mildura were cut in 1993.

The independent MP said Mildura's bus service was the only regional bus service to secure review funding this year and one of three to receive such funding across the state.

The state government acknowledged the current bus is made of legacy routes that are complex, infrequent, and often don't take people where they want to go.

It said the review would inform planning for bus reform in Mildura and provide insights that might be applied to other metropolitan or regional networks..

"We are focused on delivering a modern, productive, environmentally sustainable bus network that increases the number of people choosing to take the bus," Victorian public transport minister Ben Carroll said

Commuters can take part in the consultation at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/project/busreform/page/mildura-bus-reform-pilot