Achievement through adversity
It’s been a big year across the transport portfolio as we recover from COVID-19, earthquakes and storms, and continue to deliver an integrated transport network.
Our record investment in transport infrastructure, maintenance and upgrades is providing simple, safe and connected journeys for all Victorians, no matter how they choose to travel.
On our roads…
We’ve invested in new technology under the Smarter Roads program, including pedestrian sensors to improve the way our traffic signals operate, increase safety and keep everyone moving. We’re trialling new roadside sensors to identify potential hazards, warn motorists and increase safety at intersections. We’ve made improvements to more than 1,800 km of road, delivering more reliable journeys for drivers.
We’ve installed pop-up cycling lanes in Heidelberg to make cycling easier and safer and relieve road congestion. We're progressively rolling out 100 kilometres of new and improved bike lanes across other inner-city areas, including Northcote and Footscray.
We’ve also introduced minimum passing distances for motorists passing cyclists. Ensuring a distance of 1 metre (in speed zones up to 60 km/hr), and 1.5 metres (in speed zones over 60km/hr) assists with the safe sharing of our roads.
We’ve made it easier for thousands of learner drivers to take their tests with the launch of the online Learner Permit and Hazard Perception tests, eliminating the need for learners to book an appointment, pay an appointment fee and visit a Customer Service Centre in person.
We’ve also repainted all 80,000 square metres of the West Gate Bridge for the first time in 40 years, protecting this Melbourne landmark from the elements and keeping it in top condition for motorists.
In public transport…
We’ve kept essential services operating safely and reliably during the pandemic, introduced 280 new metropolitan and 170 new regional weekly train services, and updated timetables for 19 bus routes to meet passenger demand with increased frequency.
We’ve continued to build more comfortable and accessible trams and trains right here in Victoria to meet passenger needs and create thousands of local jobs, with nine new VLocity trains and the 106th and last X’Trapolis train entering service this year.
We’ve upgraded our 250th tram as part of a $230 million program to refurbish nearly 450 trams, improving reliability and passenger experience on Melbourne’s iconic tram fleet.
We’ve added our 100th and final E-Class tram to our fleet too. In addition to routes 11, 86 and 98, these low-floor trams are now operating on route 58, adding 50 per cent more capacity, which is enough room for up to 210 passengers and all their Christmas shopping.
We’ve introduced the RideSpace online tool that shows real-time capacity levels for metropolitan trains, stations and platforms so passengers can plan their journey and decide which service they are most comfortable using. This tool is now being tested on tram route 59, giving passengers even more choice when they plan their journeys.
We’ve launched Victoria’s Bus Plan to deliver a modern, efficient, environmentally sustainable bus network to better meet the needs of all passengers. We’re reforming the Night Network, adding new routes in growth areas, and trialling rapid-running buses with a ‘turn up and go’ frequency on Route 246.
We’ve continued trialling FlexiRide, our demand-responsive services, enabling local residents to book services when it suits them to keep connected with work, education and each other.
We’re also trialling zero-emission buses as part of our pledge to reduce transport sector emissions. Victoria’s first locally built, fully electric bus is now carrying passengers on busy route 251 between the city and Northland Shopping Centre.
And in ports and freight…
We’ve maintained our supply chains throughout the pandemic, ensuring Victorians have access to essential goods and that our exports can leave the country for overseas markets.
We’ve created Ports Victoria to better lead the strategic management and operation of Victoria’s commercial ports and waterways, and appointed the inaugural CEO for the statewide body.
We've also upgraded jetties and piers at Altona, Portarlington and Tooradin.
We’ve started early works on intermodal freight terminals at Altona, Somerton and Dandenong South to connect these major freight hubs to the Port of Melbourne by rail, and continued to invest in the mode shift incentive scheme to support an increase in the volume of rail freight and take trucks off local roads.
We’re looking forward to an even bigger 2022 and wish all Victorians safe journeys over the holiday period.