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Buses, not trains or trams, are the key to keeping Melbourne moving, experts say

Transport experts have suggested that investing billions in bus services, not trains or trams, is the key to keeping Melbourne moving.

Graham Currie, Professor of Transport Studies at Monash University told Ross and John that buses are the key to solving Melbourne’s transport woes because they’re accessible for most residents.

“More than two thirds of all of the residents in Melbourne live next to buses. They don’t live next to trains or trams, so their only public transport is buses,” he said.

Professor Currie said buses reduce congestion and help traffic to flow.

“The net effect of buses is to improve congestion because a high share of users would drive otherwise…Our research recently showed that the traffic congestion in Melbourne as a whole is about 3 per cent less as a result of buses.”

But buses are currently an unpopular form of transport among Melburnians due to their infrequency and unreliability.

“At the moment the average bus frequency is a bus every thirty minutes, which is just not attractive. We need to have more services,” he said.

Professor Currie said the reliability of buses could be improved with better road infrastructure.

“The reliability is a problem because of traffic. The answer is to do what they do in Malmö and other cities like that and put them into priority lanes, like we do with trams.”

Press PLAY below to hear Ross and John’s interview with Professor Graham Currie.