MELBOURNE’S powerful public transport union has unveiled its $1 billion wish list for this year’s Budget, including 200 extra ticket inspectors, 45 new trains, 120 extra trams and duplication of tracks to boost capacity.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has presented the demands to the State Government and says unless more cash is poured into the system, it would not be able to cope with the current demands.
The union is only stating what users and government officials already know to be true. The entire rail network in Victoria is in complete crisis. Ignored under Napthine despised by Tony Abbott the reality is we are nearing collapse of the network as a whole in the coming next 5 years. In many respects we have already passed the point where we can prevent the network from falling over through investment. We are now at the point where things are going to get a lot worse before they get any better.
The cost of not doing this work over the past 20 years now means the cost will be 3 times as much if not more and the problem has been allowed to get a lot bigger.
As for the wish list are these really priority items?
Stations are falling down, the network is falling apart and capacity constraints are everywhere. I now wonder what the Liberals might have been if Napthine had pushed the button on the metro rail tunnel when first elected? Might now be a completely different story.
Personally, I cannot now see an easy way forward for the network and its users. There are much harder times to come before the network gets any relief.