The Victorian Government is trialing rapid running bus services to reduce travel times, as part of a broader plan to strengthen Victoria’s bus network.
‘Rapid running’ buses don’t wait to meet the timetable if they are running ahead of schedule. The trial on the high frequency Route 246 from Clifton Hill to Elsternwick has so far shaved up to 15 minutes off the journey over the length of the route. The Government is now investigating other routes to expand rapid running services in the coming months.
The trial is part of the Government’s plan to build a modern and environmentally sustainable bus network that will attract more passengers.
The extensive plan outlines improvements to Victoria’s bus network to better meet demand, provide cleaner and smarter fleets, and improve accessibility, safety and service information, performance, and deliver value for money.
The Government is ensuring services better meet passenger demand, including through timetable changes on 19 routes across the network from September, which will deliver extra weekend services, earlier starts and later finishes.
Catching the bus late at night will be easier from September with the Night Bus service expanding from 21 to 34 routes, including new 24-hour weekend services on popular bus routes. Most routes will connect with hourly Night Train services at suburban stations, along with five routes operating from the CBD.
The Government’s goal to achieve a green bus fleet has already reached its first major milestone with over 80 industry partners registering interest and 38 proposals submitted to be involved in the Zero Emissions Bus Trial due to start early next year. The trial is part of our pledge for all new public transport buses purchased from 2025 to be zero emissions.
Victoria currently has 5,200 kilometres of bus network across the state, with a bus fleet of 4,000 playing a major role in improving access to modern and reliable public transport.
The plan to expand services to cater to new demand was boosted by the Victorian Budget 2021/22 investment of $74.3 million to plan for bus reform across the state including in Melbourne’s growth areas.
Planning is underway for new bus routes at Tarneit North, extending routes and improving coverage in Clyde and Clyde North, aligning services to demand in Yarra Valley and Broadmeadows, and increasing the frequency of two key bus routes that connect Fishermans Bend with the CBD.
As stated by the Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll
“We’ll continue to trial improvements such as the rapid running bus service to ensure passengers get to their destination as quickly and safely as possible.”
“These further steps to overhaul our bus network will bring together opportunities across the industry to deliver modern, environmentally sustainable and reliable services to more people throughout Victoria.”
“We will work with the bus industry and the local communities to ensure we can deliver the best connections to schools, health services and jobs.”