Sunday, September 7, 2008

Director of Public Transport on 30-year plan -

AS the State Government completes final consultation on the new state transport plan, one man is working around the clock on it.

But Victoria's new Director of Public Transport can't talk about what's actually in the 30-year plan.

Less than a month in the job, Hector McKenzie is coping with exponential patronage growth, and a system that's struggling to keep up.

But the senior transport engineer is not just putting it down to soaring fuel costs.

City jobs and population growth have also made an impact, but he adds: "There's a shift in the way people think about their impact on the world. They now go, 'I should do something, I should make a contribution'."

But Mr McKenzie doesn't believe cars should equal guilt for congested Melbourne.

He usually drives his company Holden Adventura to work, but is more likely to take the tram in the evening, and the train for weekends away.

"I love public transport, but I don't hate cars," he said.

But the shift is clearly occurring, and peak patronage growth last year saw plenty of frustrated commuters left on the platform by packed services.

Mr McKenzie said the key issue for commuters wasn't fitting them in, but frequent and reliable services.

He admits Melbourne's transport system has some catching up to do with the sprawling suburbs.

"You'd like to get the services in (to new developments) as soon as possible. It doesn't always happen," he said.

"The aim is to get everyone within a reasonable walking distance of public transport."

Read the original article at

Hmm... hard to get a handle on this guy. He's worked within Melbourne's system for a few years, but perhaps some good overseas experience would be worthwhile for looking at real solutions? His last statement about having public transport within reasonable walking distance is great, but then, if he's the only one in his Holden Adventra (is it the V8, or the rarer V6?) when he drives to work... hmm...

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