I receive Twitter updates to my phone from Yarra Trams, Metro Trains and VLine (country). Until I added them to my Twitter feed, I never realised quite how disastrous Melbourne's and Victoria's public transport system is. Tweeting delays might be good customer service in these social media times, but it does not paint a good picture of our public transport.
The only state government I can recall that was serious about public transport was the Cain Labor government in the eighties, but so much money was misspent and wasted.
The present Liberal state government did not win on promises of improved public transport. The previous government may well have lost on the lack of improvement to public transport.
You see kiddies, you can't just keep increasing the population without providing more services, including public transport. The $8 billion that is to spent on the Fox Tunnel, East West Link, to principally benefit freight companies is a disgrace. $8 billion could help our public transport system rather a lot. It could also help with the grossly inadequate roads in our very outer suburbs where developer mates of our state governing Liberal Party make mega profits from land development of what was good farmland.
I was ambivalent about the East West Tunnel when it was announced. But the more I heard about it, the more of a shocking waste of money it seemed to be. Big road expansion projects are only ever a temporary solution and quickly fill with more traffic.
I don't drive on country roads very often, but I hear the long and loud complaints about the deterioration of country roads. Huge amounts are spent on freeways, toll roads and town bypasses, but so little on maintenance of local roads in the country, that is the ones people drive on all the time.
Even the state government's promises haven't been kept. How much does a simple railway station on an existing line cost? I shouldn't think that much, yet there is still no Southland railway station. That the centre was allowed to be built at all without a station when the line went past was wrong.
Most of what seems to be happening was planned and funded by the previous government, from new trains, trams and the Regional Rail Link.
Possibly the state government could give me a long list of its own transport projects and achievements, but it needs to remember, politics is as much about impressions as facts and the impression is not good.