Well on April Fool's day, the long-promised restructuring of Victorian Government departments was completed and the creation of Public Transport Victoria, PTV, came into force.
One of the most visible changes is the removal of the metlink brand which was rolled out to give trains, trams and buses similar easy-to-identify signage (whereas buses used to be in the individual bus company's branding and what not on bus stops). The same easy-to-identify signage and what not stays, just the name PTV replacing metlink.
Frequently compared to the likes of TransitBC, TTC and the Swiss agencies before it came into force, all planning, operations and marketing are in the same agency with all the old public servants who used to work in the various departments which used to be fragment now all report directly up to this new agency.
Since April 1 there's been various interviews with the new CEO of PTV, chief amongst it:
Mr Dobbs predicted those promised improvements would arrive ''fairly early'', beginning with better information about travel times and followed by better-connected bus services, which he said needed to connect with train timetables.
''They are unloved; we've got a massive amount of potential to realise on buses, a massive amount of capacity,'' he said.
''Very few people transfer from buses to trains or buses to trams and I think that's largely because they don't trust that interface and its not very well planned.''
Despite his preference for efficiency rather than expenditure, Mr Dobbs said the government had to build before the end of the decade the Melbourne Metro tunnel - the proposed nine-kilometre rail tunnel from South Yarra to South Kensington - or risk a failure to cope with passenger growth.
''It introduces an extra pipeline through the middle of the city,'' Mr Dobbs said
''The system at the moment is very busy. We've got the ability to get a few more services through the middle of the city in the rush hour but not many, certainly not enough to take a new railway line, wherever it was.''
Other hoped-for train lines, to Tullamarine, Doncaster and Rowville, were rated lower-order priorities.
and with the launch of the new main PT info site www.ptv.vic.gov.au
they also updated the projects area with the latest images.
This is the metro tunnel proposed by the previous state government. Initially it was going to be a 2 phase project but the current government has killed off that plan, shortened it and make it a 1 phase project, which I somewhat agree with.
and they havent released any sort of detailed station renderings until now.
CBD North - connecting to Melbourne Central Station
Domain Interchange - St. Kilda Road
new Arden: literally on the edge of current North Melbourne - all the other above stations make really good use of integrating with Trams but this curiously wont (be one or two blocks away from the current West Maribyrnong tram)
Other recent announcements: On April 22 three trunk rail lines will move to a 10 minute frequency on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 7pm - curiously - they wont be that frequent during the weekday. It's because of the lower fares on Weekends (brainchild of previous government to boost weekend patronage) and the fact that on weekends loads are far more spread out rather than just at peaks due to sporting events and the like. Dandenong (Pakenham/Cranbourne Lines), Ringwood (Belgrave/Lilydale lines) and the Frankston line will see these frequency improvements.
Also the South Morang (Epping Line rename and extension) as well as Lynbrook on the Cranbourne line and Cardinia Road on the Pakenham Line will open and are on the new timetable - all to cater for outer suburban growth.
new map with three stations on it: