Public Transport Users Association representatives have praised the proposed revamp of Ballarat’s bus network.
The existing system is set for a revitalisation under Public Transport Victoria, with PTV in the midst of a consultancy phase to detail the overhaul that is touted to provide a more direct stream of bus routes across Ballarat.
A PTV spokesperson confirmed the existing network performs around 150,000 trips every month and while precise service frequencies are unknown, the new network should see services operating every 30 minutes “on most routes”.
The new network is also touted to provide better access to Federation University’s Mount Helen campus and better co-ordination with trains, with all services to run through Ballarat Station.
However, it would provide only 15 routes across the city – as opposed to the current 19 routes.
PTUA Ballarat branch convener Ben Lever said more direct routes will benefit local users.
“This is great - Ballarat's bus network needs these fast, direct and frequent routes if buses are to be a serious alternative to driving, and therefore reduce congestion,” Mr Lever said.
“Largely I think the proposed network achieves the goal of straightening routes while providing similar coverage.”
While the footprint of the new network is very similar to the existing system, there are several minor changes.
The new version would not cover areas of rapidly expanding suburbs such as Alfredton, as well as areas in Delacombe and Sebastopol along Hertford Street. It would also skip a section of Russell Street adjacent to Victoria Park.
However, it would include a section of Whitehorse Road between Albert Street and Geelong Road, as well as a section of Dyson Drive in Lucas.
It remains unclear what alterations would be made to Ballarat’s central business district.
Mr Lever said some Wendouree-based routes would provide better servicing to major areas such as Stockland Wendouree with the change.
“The new one (service), being bidirectional and extending to Wendouree station, gives you the ability to travel easily to Stockland or Wendouree Station, or into the CBD - whichever you need,” he said.
“I would also expect it to be a higher frequency (than the two existing routes).”
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