Bus better for airport access

The Victorian State Government has vowed to build a rail link to Melbourne Airport. In a timely pre-election announcement, the Premier indicated that the state budget will include plans to connect Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Station.

But is the rail link the best use of Government coffers? A study undertaken by Public Transport Victoria found the benefits of building a direct rail link to the airport ''are currently outweighed by the high costs''. It did however, claim that a rail link would be essential in the future with passenger numbers expected to rival Heathrow Airport.

Like the kid left over at the end of the school disco, the bus is often an unloved and under-appreciated mode of travel. However, it is, with the right infrastructure, capable of being more flexible, efficient and cheaper than a rail link. Modern sleek buses, comfortable and convenient bus stops and dedicated bus lanes could be the answer to the airport access conundrum.

It is not just DLA who appreciates the much maligned bus. In a recent article in The Age, transit expert Jarret Walker argued that that Melbourne Airport already has better access than both Sydney and Brisbane. Both of whom have airport rail links


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