I heard the chairman and chief executive of Public Transport Victoria on the radio this morning and I was left somewhat slack jawed. I don't know if it was ignorance or spin, but I was horrified.
Bigger trams for Melbourne: Dobbs suggested that those who cannot fit on a tram in the busy St Kilda Road tram routes will welcome the new trams. Bad. None of the new extra long trams will run in St Kilda Road. At best some more of the larger B class trams may be made available for St Kilda Road services, but I doubt there will be enough to have much of an impact.
The Rowville train to service Monash University and several suburbs: Dobbs said that there was no point in building the rail line until the Metro Tunnel is built and the appropriate rail corridor upgraded. When it was suggested that the line could be built and people could change to existing trains at Huntingdale Station, Dodds said that people would not be happy to have to change trains onto already crowded trains. Bad. Yes, there would be more crowding, especially at peak times, but if people were asked, they would rather have a train to change from or to than none at all. The line could be connected to the main system later when the corridor is improved.
Metro Tunnel, if built, won't be ready until 2022, assuming it receives federal funding. Bad. In one fell swoop, Dobbs passed the buck from what seems to be his political mates at a state level to the Federal Government.
A caller to the radio station complained about Flagstaff Station not opening on weekends and the Latrobe Street tram service not operating at weekends, therefore making access to Victoria Market difficult. Dobbs appeared ignorant of these often discussed matters.
Another caller complained about ramps for wheelchairs on trams not being used. There are many reasons why they are not used and again it has been often discussed in media and elsewhere and Dobbs was ignorant of this too.
If Dobbs is really so ignorant about the public transport system he heads, god help us. What I really heard between the lines of such a disgraceful performance, was Dobbs removing public transport pressure from the state government and I can only wonder why.