Growing bus patronage and addressing transport disadvantage -- The Melbourne experience Loader, Chris; Stanley, John

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Loader, Chris ; Stanley, John
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Transport Policy
Transportation industry; Analysis; Company growth
To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: Byline: Chris Loader, John Stanley Keywords: Patronage growth; Social exclusion; Social capital; Transport disadvantage Abstract: Melbourne's bus network serves two-thirds of the city's population but, until recently, has generally had very poor service levels. The Victorian government has recently embarked on programs to (1) extend a network of premium trunk routes to address a 'mass transit' agenda and (2) upgrade local routes to 'safety net' minimum service levels, to address a 'social transit' agenda (reducing transport disadvantage and social exclusion). The paper reviews recent experience from the service upgrades to assess how effective they have been in terms of these agendas. Analysis of patronage growth trends and the impacts of these upgrade programs suggest reasonable minimum service levels are required to attract new riders in times of modal shift, and are effective at building social capital. Author Affiliation: Bus Association Victoria, PO Box 125, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia
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