Principal Public Transport Network frequently asked questions

The Principal Public Transport Network (PPTN) is a key component of Plan Melbourne - and is reflected in planning schemes across Victoria.

This page provides answers to some frequently asked questions about the PPTN.

What is the PPTN?

The Principal Public Transport Network (PPTN) is a key component of Plan Melbourne, the framework for Melbourne's growth until 2050.

The PPTN is a statutory land use planning tool that aims to ensure Melbourne has an integrated transport system where land use development and public transport planning are coordinated.

The Principal Public Transport Network provides certainty to land use planners and the community about locations that are, or will be, served by high-quality public transport.

Plan Melbourne and the PPTN are important for long-term land use planning as they help encourage more dense development around existing and planned high-quality public transport.

As demand for services increases and new developments are built in the future, improvements can be made to services along the PPTN to make them more reliable, efficient, frequent and convenient.

What is the PPTN made up of?

The PPTN is a network of high-quality public transport services based on existing services and committed service upgrades or projects. It includes:

  • metropolitan train stations
  • the tram network
  • bus services with a high peak service frequency
  • key interchanges (major shopping centres, Melbourne Airport, some university campuses and major park and ride facilities).

The PPTN does not include:

  • rail lines (i.e. sections between stations)
  • public transport services on freeways (except where required for clarity)
  • most high frequency routes that pass through areas that aren't appropriate for more diverse and dense development such as industrial areas and green wedges.

What does the PPTN do?

The PPTN encourages forms of development near the network which will provide more people with access to public transport services.

The PPTN is an important tool for referral authorities to provide advice on development applications.

While new development is encouraged, it is important that the operational effectiveness of public transport is not compromised along the PPTN.

An example of the PPTN in action would be discouraging new driveways on the PPTN where possible.

This requirement is reflected in under Clause 18.02-3 of the Victoria Planning Provisions.

Who is the PPTN for?

The PPTN aims to provide certainty to land use planners and the community around locations that are, or will be, served by high-quality public transport.

The PPTN is also used by decision making organisations such as Public Transport Victoria, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the Department of Transport, the Victorian Planning Authority, VicRoads and local government to include public transport priorities in their future plans.

The PPTN is a key policy in Plan Melbourne for transport and land use integration.

The PPTN is an incorporated document under Clause 81 of the Victoria Planning Provisions.

Incorporated documents must be taken into account by responsible authorities in decision-making and can only be amended by the Minister through a planning scheme amendment process.

Updates to the PPTN will be made as part of ongoing planning for integrating land use and transport planning.

How is the PPTN different to previous editions?

The previous PPTN map was last revised in 2010, is outdated and was removed from the Victoria Planning Provisions in 2014.

Development patterns and the implementation of public transport services has not aligned with the 2010 PPTN, creating lack of clarity for planners.

Plan Melbourne 2016 re-introduced the current PPTN to provide clarity for land use planning, reflecting a network of high-quality services based on existing and committed projects.

Why are some links included that are not suitable for development?

The PPTN is a land use planning tool to encourage increased density and diversity of development near public transport corridors.

However, several links where development is not expected to occur have been included make the network legible.

While the PPTN encourages more diverse and dense development to support public transport use, this is not a blanket rule.

Other factors such as planning controls, local context, existing built form, heritage and other local policies will also influence land use decisions.

I think this section should have been included in the PPTN, why isn't it?

Generally, high frequency routes have not been included where they pass through areas that are considered not feasible for development (industrial zones and open space).

Development in these locations is typically prevented through planning controls.

Why are there some obvious gaps in the network, particularly in Melbourne's growth areas?

The PPTN currently only includes the existing and committed high-quality services (described above).

Updates to the PPTN will be made as part of ongoing planning for integrating land use and transport planning.

Will there be a PPTN for regional cities?

The PPTN will initially have a Melbourne metropolitan focus.

What will the future PPTN look like?

The PPTN is also important from a long-term land use planning perspective as it helps shape a more dense and diverse built form around high-quality public transport.

While a stable PPTN is important to provide certainty for planners, it may be updated when significant changes to the network occur, which might include newly committed rail connections, tram lines or after updates are made to a sub-regional bus network to better respond to emerging land use.

A planning scheme amendment process is required to enact any future changes to the PPTN in the Victoria Planning Provisions.

What is the history of the PPTN?

The Principal Public Transport Network first appeared in Plan Melbourne 2030 (2002), the network was updated a number of times with the last update occurring in 2010.

The PPTN was an incorporated document in the Victoria Planning Provisions with the expected land use response outlined in the provisions.

The PPTN was not a feature of Melbourne's next metropolitan planning strategy Plan Melbourne (2014).

The incorporated document was subsequently removed from the Victoria Planning Provisions.

During the Plan Melbourne refresh consultation process the PPTN concept was widely supported, including its incorporation into the Victoria Planning Provisions.

The PPTN is now a policy in Plan Melbourne and has been given statutory weight as an incorporated document pursuant to Clause 80.01 of the Victoria Planning Provisions.

What is the history of the PPTN?

The Principal Public Transport Network first appeared in Melbourne 2030 (2002), the network was updated a number of times with the last update occurring in 2010. The PPTN was an incorporated document in the Victoria Planning Provisions with the expected land use response outlined in the provisions.

The PPTN was not a feature of Melbourne's next metropolitan planning strategy Plan Melbourne (2014).

The incorporated document was subsequently removed from the Victoria Planning Provisions.

During the Plan Melbourne refresh consultation process the PPTN concept was widely supported, including its incorporation into the Victoria Planning Provisions.

The PPTN is now a policy in Plan Melbourne and has been given statutory weight as an incorporated document pursuant to Clause 81 of the Victoria Planning Provisions.