The Public Transport Users Association now has a Ballarat branch.
The advocate group, well known in Geelong and Melbourne commuter circles, is now looking to represent those who use public transport in Ballarat and local areas as well as across western Victoria.
The Ballarat branch will represent towns like Ballan, Bacchus Marsh, Maryborough, Ararat, Horsham, Hamilton and Portland and will campaign for improvements to all forms of public transport, including intra-town buses and V/Line trains and coaches.
Ballarat branch interim convener Ben Lever said there is a number of projects the group will advocate for, starting with an improvement to Ballarat’s bus network.
Public Transport Victoria is seeking feedback from locals on the state of the network, but Mr Lever said there needs to be drastic improvements to cater for a growing city.
“The group itself (PTUA) has existed for 40 years and is Melbourne centric, but we really need to have a voice for Ballarat,” he said.
“One of our big priorities is the bus network, which is not really up to scratch.
“There are a lot of issues, particularly around frequencies (or services) and connectivity (between services).
“We’re also pushing for duplication of the Ballarat line, but we’re very happy to see that the line will be duplicated from Deer Park West to Melton.”
Other key projects the group will look at is the viability of a train service between Ballarat and Geelong as well as improving train services between Ballarat and Maryborough.
The group will hold its first meeting at the upstairs section of Freight Bar on Mair Street at 7pm on June 21.
Non-members are welcome to attend and share their views, and there will be opportunities to become a member on the night.
Feedback on Ballarat’s bus network can be provided at sessions from 11am to 1pm and 4pm to 6pm at the Caro Convention Centre at Federation University’s Mt Helen Campus on June 14 and from 11am to 1pm and 4pm to 6pm at the Ballarat Mechanics Institute on June 15.