25 Year Delay on Bus Service

Published on 20 July 2018

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The twenty-five-year delay in fixing the lack of Bus Services to the Mornington Peninsula on Route 788 could be over.

On Tuesday the Coalition pledged at a Baxter media conference to fund an upgrade of the Bus Service running between Portsea and Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula Shire has called for the Victorian Government to match the funding as part of their transport policy. 

The cost of the upgrade is estimated at around $2.5 million annually.  

Councillor Bryan Payne, Mayor of the Mornington Peninsula Shire said, “The Victorian Parliament Hansard provided the indisputable evidence of the delay through comments of the former Labor Shadow Minister for Transport in 1993, the Member for Thomastown the Hon. Peter Bachelor.”

In 1993, Mr Batchelor told the Parliament “Bus route No. 788 was currently providing inadequate services to the Mornington Peninsula.”

“This service travels between Frankston railway station and Portsea and is operated by the Portsea Passenger Service. It runs every hour and a quarter approximately 10 to 12 times a day to Portsea via Dromana, Rosebud and Sorrento.”

“However, the service does not meet the needs of the communities it services because it is not frequent enough; is overcrowded, with people often being forced to stand up for long stretches of the journey; does not cater for the needs of the local community; and is not part of the Met fare structure,” Mr Bachelor said.

Cr. Payne said, “Twenty-five years on the Mornington Peninsula Shire has 164,000 residents and public transport on the Mornington Peninsula continues to suffer greatly from a prolonged legacy of under investment through a lack of adequate transport planning and funding.”

“This can be demonstrated by the fact that the Mornington Peninsula has the second lowest provision of public transport per person in metropolitan Melbourne. 

“The lack of public transport investment has resulted in overcrowding, passengers being left behind at bus stops, social isolation, and young people unable to access training and jobs,” Cr. Payne said.

Cr. Payne had previously called on all parties to immediately support the upgrade of the bus service on Route 788.

The Mornington Peninsula Shire has been working with the Transport Community Advisory Action Group, Ventura Buses, Frankston City Council, Monash University, Chisholm Institute and Peninsula Health to identify solutions to this dangerous situation.    

“One of the most pragmatic solutions we have identified is the upgrading of the 788 Bus Route, integrating this with the 887 Bus Route and providing a peak commuter 788 Express Service. 

“Currently the Route 788 bus carries over half a million passengers annually with current frequencies from 45 minutes to 100 minutes,” Cr. Payne said.

 The Issues: 

  • Overcrowding on the Route 788 service in the morning and afternoon peaks.
  • Students trying to get to school, the elderly trying to reach medical appointments and commuting workers are either left behind or crammed onto overcrowded buses.
  • Bus drivers are forced to close the doors and leave stranded passengers behind to wait for the next service.