Doncaster bus rapid transit?

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Transdev Melbourne has made a pitch for “Doncaster bus rapid transit” Is it a viable alternative to heavy or light rail along the Doncaster reservation and Eastern median or is it a long term cop out? Will the proposed service get up at all?

Doncaster to CBD: Special busway may run down middle of Hoddle Street (8 June 2017)

It is estimated the Doncaster-CBD busway would cost more than $500 million to build, which is 10 to 16 per cent of the estimated $3 billion – $5 billion cost of building Doncaster rail, a project Infrastructure Victoria assessed last year would return just 10 cents for every dollar spent. Transdev wants to pave over the Eastern Freeway median – which has been reserved for almost 50 years for a future Doncaster railway line – for express buses instead of trains.

Comment:

1. The extra bus lane is physically accessible to all vehicles. This means the bus will be restricted to the same 100km speed limit leading to a longer trip than necessary.
2. Motorists will not be enticed to change to the bus if it is a lot slower than driving.
3. The extra bus lane will preclude the possibility to build a heavy or even a light rail.
4. The bus lane reservation on the freeway should be taken from existing vehicle lanes, otherwise the capacity on the eastern freeway will continue to fill leading to no net traffic reduction.
5. Freeway congestion does not affect the bus service today. It is the city street congestion that causes the delays. The freeway reservation does not not address the real issue.
6. The bus will be diesel powered. Bringing large numbers of engines that emit a class 1 carcinogen into highly populated city streets is madness.
7. The bus will be fossil fuel powered. All new infrastructure should be based on renewable electricity.
8. Trains are already massively overcrowded. How is the bus service going to cope with a population target of 10 million?
9. This is a sell off of public land that was reserved for a railway, not a private bus operator. Keep public land in public hands.
10. Cofevee. Don’t be fooled by this weak attempt at placating the electorate. Demand real action on public transport.

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