This audit examined the performance of
public bus, tram and train services across Victoria.
The Department of Transport was not
prepared for the rapid growth in public transport patronage between
2004 and 2009. It did not have the capability to foresee this
growth or fully understand the root causes of poor performance. It
was therefore unable to effectively deal with the performance
Satisfaction for all public transport modes
has deteriorated over the past decade, and performance has mostly
fallen short of government targets in the past five years. The
decline was greatest for metropolitan trains.
The response to this decline was partial
and uncoordinated. Over this time the department managed public
transport as separate modes of travel rather than as an integrated
From 2008 the department started to
turn this situation around. It now has a good understanding of
performance issues and has developed an effective planning
framework. This is a good basis for action but there is more to do.
weaknesses in how performance is measured and reported
- objectives in the
Transport Integration Act that are not measured or
- partial application
of the department’s improved planning approach
- a need to better
incorporate performance outcomes into planning.
The future challenges are significant. We estimate that capital
expenditure on public transport will have to triple over the next
decade to cope with the expected growth. The department needs to
benchmark the costs of operating public transport and devise a
long-term plan to improve efficiency.