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The Facts

Perth to Mandurah Rail Line
An example of what can be achieved on the Eastern Freeway, Melbourne.

Getting around

  • Melbourne is expected to house an extra one million residents by 2031, with a population of 5.2 million
  • The cost of traffic congestion to Melbourne is estimated at $4.5 billion per year and expected to increase to $6 billion by 2020
  • Public transport is expected to account for 20 per cent of all trips by 2020
  • Since 1998, train patronage has doubled (100 per cent) and tram patronage grew by 50 per cent
  • High car ownership in Manningham reflects the lack of adequate high-capacity public transport – 65 per cent of Doncaster households own two or more cars. In comparison, only 44 per cent of Box Hill residents own two or more cars
  • Private vehicle demand across Melbourne is expected to increase by more than 50 per cent between 2011 and 2031 (in terms of kilometres travelled)
  • The Department of Transport’s VISTA data (2007), indicates a transport mode share for Doncaster Hill of 88.3 per cent of trips by car and only 11.7 per cent of trips by walking, cycling and public transport
  • Since implementation in 2010, patronage on the four DART bus routes have increased by almost 67 per cent, carrying in excess of 3.5 million passengers per year, illustrating the growing local demand for public transport.

Summary of the Rapid Transit Option (RT1) – preferred route by the State government

  • The State government’s URS study recommended the Rapid Transit 1 (RT1) alignment between Collingwood and Doncaster Park and Ride as the best option
  • The RT1 option estimates up to 56,000 daily boardings with a 20-30 minute trip to the CBD
  • However, no station has been proposed for Doncaster Hill, which is expected to have a population of more than 10,000 residents by 2031
  • 2021 is the earliest projected date for rail to be delivered to Doncaster
  • RT1 can only be achieved by “de-coupling” the existing South Morang line to allow a Doncaster line to feed into the Clifton Hill branch (currently no capacity to add sufficient additional services)
  • Victoria Park and Rushall stations may be made redundant by this option
  • No station has been considered at Burke Rd/Eastern Freeway, failing to provide an integrated transport link with tram route 72 to Camberwell
  • The existing 400-car-space Doncaster Park and Ride will need to become a multi-storey car park to accommodate the projected 4,000 vehicles, adding pressure to traffic and congestion through Doncaster Hill
  • If parking at Doncaster Park and Ride was completely unrestricted, it could attract more than 6,500 parked cars each weekday
  • Chandler Highway (Kew) will need to become a secondary park and ride location
  • East-West Link traffic modelling was not included within the rail study, failing to illustrate the likely impact to traffic demand if a rail line to Doncaster is eventually built.

Map 1 Rapid Transit

Projected Costs

  • The State government’s draft Doncaster Rail Study Phase One Recommendations Report’ report did not provide an accurate breakdown of proposed costs, rather a ‘ball-park figure’ in the billions
  • URS (consultants that undertook the phase 1 feasibility study on Doncster Rail) suggests that the 11km section between Hoddle Street and Park and Ride (along the freeway reserve, with limited tunnelling), is expected to cost between $3 - $5 billion
  • However, Professor Peter Newman (Curtin University, WA) estimates that the line between Doncaster Hill and Parkville (partially underground) could be delivered for a total of $1.3 billion (CUSP, 2012)
  • In comparison, the 72km Perth-Mandurah line in Western Australia (with 30km built along a freeway reserve, nine stations plus two underground stations, river bridges etc), was delivered for $1.7 billion in 2007
  • The 13km Epping-Chatswood line in Sydney (all underground, three new underground stations and an upgrade of two existing stations), was delivered for $2.3 billion in 2009.