Bus coverage will be expanded and services will be adjusted across Plenty Valley in Melbourne, to take full advantage of the trio of new train stations set to open on the Mernda line later this year.
Victorian public transport minister Jacinta Allan announced on Tuesday the changes will be made to ensure the community has simple and convenient access to the new stations.
New loop service Routes 388 and 389 will provide the growing residential area of Doreen with direct public transport access to Mernda Station and to Laurimar Town Centre, Hazel Glen College and Mernda Village Shopping Centre for the first time, at a high frequency, Allan said.
“We’re making it simpler for people to get to where they need to go by public transport, and to get home sooner at the end of the day,” the minister said.
“Whether its laying new track, removing level crossings, upgrading signalling, adding extra services to improve public transport access to jobs, education and services – we’re getting it done.”
A new bus interchange at Mernda Station is designed to allow passengers to easily transfer between trains and local bus routes.
New stations at Hawstowe, Middle Gorge and Mernda open later in 2018 following the extension of the existing South Morang line eight kilometres to the future Mernda Town Centre.
The new stations are expected to cater for up to 8,000 commuters a day.
Existing bus services along Plenty Road will be changed to avoid duplicating the frequent train services to and from the new stations.
“The Mernda Rail Extension and these new bus services especially the 388 and 389 loop services will open up transport access to the Plenty Valley area like never before,” local member for Yan Yean Danielle Green said.