TRANSPORT has quickly become the most talked about issue across metropolitan seats.
The East-West Link stands as the most contentious issue in politics although in Ballarat residents are still after improvements at a local level.
With Ballarat's train line booming, forward thinking for a long-term vision for the line is needed now.
While new trains are on order from both side politics, neither side is set to commit to any further duplication of the line, meaning adding extra services will become increasingly difficult for the Ballarat line.
As more people move to Ballarat and take part in the daily commute to Melbourne, it is hard to see our current services handling that capacity.
When The Courier asked for party policies heading into 2015, it was interesting to note the extra train services the Liberals mentioned are part of an upgrade to the line promised before the last election with a passing loop to be built near Bacchus Marsh.
The Liberals also selected the completion of the Regional Rail Link and while its success will be unquestionable for Ballarat, it is hard to see any further improvements on what we are already experiencing on a project that was started by Labor.
Labor has committed to a huge roads package, however, it remains to be seen how much of that will fall into our region.
In what seems like a long time ago, Labor also committed to providing late night transport from Melbourne for Ballarat.
However, neither of the major parties seem ready to talk about duplication of the railway line which could change the dynamic of all rail services on the line and set up Ballarat for the future.
While East-West Link might still be the most talked about transport proposal regardless of what we see in Ballarat, hopefully the commitments will keep coming.
■ GEOFF HOWARD - Labor
People in regional Victoria often travel long distances on our roads to get to work, schools and to shop for their families.
Regional roads are crumbling to fund Denis Napthine's $8 billion dud tunnel in Melbourne, risking the safety of our loved ones.
Only Labor will invest
in regional roads.
■ BEN TAYLOR - Liberal
As a part of Denis Napthine's team we know that a strong Ballarat economy depends on having safe, fast and reliable links to Melbourne by road and rail.
By investing in improved rail transport we are also clearing up traffic congestion and making our roads safer.
■ TONY GOODFELLOW - Greens
Passenger rail between Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo restored.
Melbourne train service fixed. Express bus services along Yankee Flat Road between CBD and Buninyong (via uni) during morning peak will ease gridlock on Geelong Road. Regular night and weekend bus services for Buninyong corridor offered as viable alternative to cars. Complete Canadian bike path.
■ SONIA SMITH - Nationals
We'll add new money and prioritise road repairs/alterations/construction where safety is at risk including new pedestrian/school crossings and signage.
We'll unblock the Ballarat-Buninyong Road and create a dedicated bike/walking track.
We'll create new train and bus services to improve access to work, education and health services.
I'll revive our train lines.
■ Additional train services on Ballarat Line as a part of a $14.3 million project which includes an upgrade to the Ballan Station and car park
■ Continued support for Regional Rail Link
■ Free uninterrupted Wi-Fi on the Ballarat Line
■ $5.3 million Ballarat Station Precinct Revitalisation
■ 200 extra car parks for Wendouree Train Station costing $2.5 million
■ Homesafe inc 2am shuttle bus from Melbourne to Ballarat - $50 million
■ Regional roads fund - $1 billion
■ New Metro and V/Line rolling stock - Stage 1 funding of $350 million in 2015/16
■ Upgrade Ballarat-Colac Road - $2 million
■ Road safety projects in Buninyong, Napoleons and Ballan
■ Scrap East-West Toll Road/improve public and regional transport
■ Passenger rail Geelong-Ballarat-Maryborough- Bendigo
■ Fix Ballarat/Melbourne rail problems
■ Extend urban bus services at night and weekends; extend regional bus services
■ Ballarat Rail Station Redevelopment (without land sell-off; incorporating undercover urban bus interchange)
■ State roads maintenance - $4.5 million Ballarat-Buninyong Road upgrade
■ Major rehabilitation of Colac-Ballarat Road and Geelong-Ballan Road
■ Ballarat train line upgrade - $14.3 million Ballarat station precinct upgrade - $5.3 million
■ Free Wi-Fi for users of Ballarat-Melbourne line by2015 - $40 million (2013/14 budget)
■ Continued support for Regional Rail Link