DENIS NAPTHINE PLAN TO DUMP BUS TRACKER SYSTEM

The Napthine Government has scrapped a multi-million dollar bus tracking system that would have forced bus companies to improve service delivery, documents obtained by the State Opposition show.

The documents reveal the shutdown despite the Napthine Government paying $2 million for supply, maintenance, support, and installation of the Bus Tracking System (BTS) on buses and in depots.

Opposition Acting Shadow Minister for Public Transport, Richard Wynne, said Denis Napthine and Transport Minister, Terry Mulder, had secretly planned to scrap the BTS despite the Government last year claiming it would be used to monitor the performance of buses and improve bus service delivery for commuters.

A Public Transport Victoria (PTV) document obtained by Labor – which the Opposition understands has been sitting on Mr Mulder’s desk for more than a month – shows the Government has essentially ordered the complete shutdown of the multi-million dollar system.

Mr Wynne said the document reveals the Napthine Government shut down of the BTS across metropolitan Melbourne last month and ordered the removal of BTS equipment from hundreds of buses because of concerns it would turn on and flatten batteries.

Mr Wynne said PTV also told bus operators that BTS dispatcher terminals installed at bus depots could be removed and that it no longer required new buses to be pre-wired.

“This is further evidence of a public transport crisis being created by Denis Napthine and his Government who would prefer to waste $8 billion on a dud tunnel no one wants or voted for than improve public transport,” Mr Wynne said.

“Local bus commuters who would have relied on this tracking service have been abandoned by the Napthine Government.

“Instead of funding improvements in public transport Denis Napthine is scrapping or cutting funding and systems that would deliver more reliable public transport services.

“Victoria’s trains are overcrowded, skip stations, fail to meet performance and punctuality targets and the BTS – which would have improved bus service performance and punctuality – has been scrapped by Denis Napthine.

“When Denis Napthine spends $8 billion on a dud tunnel that costs a lot but doesn’t do very much it means that improvements to public transport are decades away. Labor’s transport alternative will be released before the end of the year. It will have a strong focus on jobs, easing congestion and will strike a balance between public transport and roads.”