BY JESSICA BENNETT
THE state government’s self-proclaimed “extensive” bus links in Monash have left commuters in the lurch, according to critics.
Last week, the government defended its lack of plans for a Rowville rail link, saying the area was well served by extensive bus links including the Wellington Road bus service.
But Mt Waverley Liberal candidate Michael Gidley said the government’s SmartBus services in Monash had deteriorated, with malfunctioning electronic bus stop signs providing no or inaccurate information.
“The problems are so bad that the Brumby government has turned off the train-arrival time feature on the bus stops at Glen Waverley and Syndal railway stations.”
Mr Gidley said the system had cost taxpayers millions and left commuters in the lurch.
Public Transport Users Association outer east convener Jeremy Lunn said infrequency of services was an issue for the SmartBus system.
“If commuters could rely on buses arriving reliably every 10 minutes, there would be next to no use for the electronic signs at all. The 703 and 902 SmartBus services only run half-hourly on weekends with gaps of up to 48 minutes.
“The 903 also only runs half-hourly on weekends and we’re seeing no shortage of crowded buses.”
Mr Lunn said a sign at a SmartBus stop placed a metre in front of a power pole in Oakleigh was a “joke”.