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Congestion crisis: car use outstrips population growth

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Congestion crisis: car use outstrips population growth

New data out last week shows that neglecting public transport and investing in roads is making our congestion problem worse. And nowhere feels it more then out here in Melbourne’s West.


1 in 10 Victorians work in the West, but only 3% of travel there by bus or train. The rest are sitting for hours in congested traffic on their daily commute. And it’s all down to investment.


Encouraged by our governments’ investment in freeways, public transport use collapsed in the 1960’s, leading car use in Melbourne to outstrip population growth until 2004.


The report released by the Public Transport Users Association on Wednesday, says that if it had matched population growth we’d be seeing 25% less cars on the road. What a difference that would make!


What we need is to get people off the roads and back on to public transport. This would ease up congestion and get us where we need to go faster.


According to the Public Transport Users Association, this means matching investment in roads with our population growth, and putting more money into building better bus and train services in the West.


Buses are the first step to fixing our transport crisis. We know we have the road infrastructure to support them! With more bus services and dedicated bus lanes, we can access the public transport we need while train lines are being built.


But we can see from this report that investment has lagged in the past, and with only one week until the election, we’ve seen no commitments to improve our transport infrastructure in Melbourne’s West. This is not good enough.


We want to get out of our cars, off congested roads, and onto fast, efficient public transport. The West is Melbourne’s fastest-growing region, so we need urgent action from our MPs to make sure our public transport keeps up with our booming population.


By adding your name to the Time for the West petition and sharing your nightmare commute story, together we can make sure our MPs know that transport is a high priority issue for voters out here in Melbourne’s West.


And with just one week until the state election, make sure your family and friends join us and call on our MPs to take action and fix the transport crisis here in the West.


Together we can make sure we get a transport system that benefits all of us. Together we can tell our politicians that it’s time for the West.