More than 80 per cent of Melburnians will experience reduced travel times thanks to the Suburban Rail Loop, which will deliver shorter, faster and more reliable journeys for Victorians while slashing travel times across the state.
The project will transform the way people commute right across Melbourne with new destinations and connections.
Stage One between Cheltenham and Box Hill will be delivered first, and public transport users in Melbourne’s south-east will experience much faster journeys on the underground line, saving up to an hour on a one way trip. Return trips to key destinations will be up to two hours faster.
Commuters from across Melbourne and Victoria will get faster connections to Deakin University in Burwood and Monash University in Clayton as they are connected to the train network for the first time.
The trains will take three to four minutes between stations, and a journey from Cheltenham to Box Hill will be just 22 minutes. Commuters from Cheltenham, will save between 40 minutes to an hour when travelling to either Monash, Glen Waverley or Burwood.
Travel times between Traralgon and Box Hill Hospital will be around 26 minutes faster, taking around two and a half hours instead of three and making train travel times comparable to a car trip.
A trip from Lilydale to Monash University will be between 20 and 40 minutes quicker with a seamless interchange at Box Hill and a trip from Cranbourne to Deakin University will be cut by 20 to 40 minutes one way.
Encouraging more people to shift from their cars to public transport will also have a significant impact on traffic congestion with benefits for all road users, including freight services, trams and buses.
In the longer term, as Suburban Rail Loop is connected further north and west, improved traffic flows on freeways and major arterial roads is projected to cut more than five minutes off a drive from Box Hill to the CBD in the morning peak.
Construction of Stage One will start in 2022 with the Initial and Early Works to create up to 800 direct early jobs. Planning and development, as well as community and stakeholder consultation is well underway.