The state government has announced a new central transport agency to coordinate Victoria’s growing transport system.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan and Roads Minister Luke Donnellan announced the formation of Transport for Victoria on Monday, with the hub set to be up and running at the end of 2016.
The body is set to act as an umbrella facilitator to transport agencies such as VicRoads and Public Transport Victoria in an attempt to co-ordinate planning of Victoria’s transport systems and infrastructure.
It will provide a single source for information about our road, train, tram, bus, taxi and freight networks, which in theory, will make it easier for commuters to access important information or data.
VicRoads, PTV and other existing transport agencies will continue to provide information and support to transport users until TFV officially opens.
“We need to stop thinking in terms of a road network and a train network and a tram network – we have a transport network, and we need a single transport agency to oversee it,” Mr Donnellan said.
Public Transport Users Association Ballarat convener Ben Lever said only time will tell when gauging if the new facilitator will benefit local commuters.
“On the one hand, there is potential for greater co-ordination between road planning and public transport planning, which is great,” he said.
“On the other hand, there's a chance it could just create another level of bureaucracy, without leading to better outcomes. The last thing we need is another multi-million dollar rebranding exercise that doesn't actually achieve practical results.
“We'll just have to see how it works in practice.”
Over the coming months, consultation will be carried out with key stakeholders, and legislation will be introduced to establish the new body later this year.