Eastern Metro MP Rod Barton has asked the Minister for Public Transport to put SMARbuses on the route of the suburban rail loop.
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:54): My constituency question is addressed to the Minister for Public Transport, Melissa Horne. Orbital SmartBus services in Melbourne have been hugely successful, moving approximately 13 million passengers every year. The ability for passengers to have live and updated information about the next bus service is what makes SmartBuses so appealing. For many residents in the suburbs, education, health facilities and other services are currently unreachable by public transport. The City of Manningham in particular lacks the essential connections to these facilities. University students suffer a lengthy and multi-bus trip to reach Monash, Deakin or La Trobe. A SmartBus along the proposed Suburban Rail Loop would not only connect Melbournians sooner but also provide a perfect opportunity to show the potential benefits and demand for the loop services. Following the advice of a famous musician, if you like it you should put a bus on it, the question is: will the minister put a SmartBus service on the proposed Suburban Rail Loop, and if not, how will the increasing orbital demand of suburban Melbournians be met?