Melbourne Airport is calling on the state government to upgrade local public bus services to better serve the needs of passengers and staff living in surrounding suburbs.
The airport is the largest employment precinct in Victoria outside of the Melbourne CBD, but is served by just four bus routes, one of which does not run on weekends.
Around 18,000 people work at Melbourne Airport, which is the largest 24-hour airport in the country.
Despite this, only one public bus route operates after 7:45pm or more than once an hour and there are suburbs where people cannot access job opportunities at the airport because there are no or very few services.
Melbourne Airport Chief of Ground Transport Jai McDermott said the airport remained committed to a rail line, but also needed a significant improvement to local transport connections.
“Skybus does a great job serving people coming from the City or the Mornington Peninsula, but staff and passengers from the city’s north and west are being let down by a lack of local bus services,” he said.
“We remain committed to an airport rail line with a fit-for-purpose, future-proof and cost-effective underground station, but while we work towards a link that puts passengers first, immediate action is needed to fix the airport’s woeful local bus services.
“Many airport staff are shift workers, but the current lack of services mean public transport is simply not an option for people who live in our surrounding suburbs.
“Taxis are sometimes reluctant to take local passengers to nearby destinations, meaning travellers and staff living in the surrounding areas have few options but to drive.
“Improved suburban bus connections would help overcome this problem while unlocking more job opportunities for more people in Melbourne’s north and west by providing better transport options.
“As a significant employment generator for Melbourne’s north and west, Melbourne Airport needs frequent, reliable bus services to connect to places such as Keilor, Sunbury, Taylors Lakes, Sunshine and further afield.
“We need more PTV buses that start early, finish late and run every 15 minutes.
“While our carpark pricing starts from just $12 a day, this should be for people who want to drive, not people who are being forced to drive.”