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Council welcomes tram funding pledge

Council welcomes the Victorian Opposition’s commitment to fund a $2 million feasibility study to extend the Route 75 tram to Knox.

Route 75 currently ends at Vermont South Shopping Centre on Burwood Highway, with commuters required to switch to a bus to travel to Knox City Shopping Centre and Swinburne University.

Knox City Council Mayor, Cr Susan Laukens said Council had been asking successive governments to extend the Route 75 tram to improve public transport in Knox.

“Extending the tram would connect key education and employment precincts including the Burwood Highway employment cluster, Knox Westfield Shopping Centre, Swinburne University, Deakin University, Bayswater shopping and business precincts, Wantirna health precinct and Knox Private Hospital,” she said.

“Knox residents face heavy traffic commuting to work, study and other activities. The lack of public transport is causing congestion on freeways and major roads as locals are forced to use their cars rather than find alternate ways of travelling.

“Making sustainable transport options more accessible is also important to our plan of achieving net zero greenhouse emissions for our community by 2040.

“In addition to advocating for the extension of the Route 75 tram to connect with the rail line at Upper Ferntree Gully and Bayswater, Council is pushing for other public transport projects such as improving and increasing local bus services and a trackless tram to Rowville.”

Ahead of the federal election earlier this year, Labor pledged $6 million to begin planning for a trackless tram between Caulfield Station and Rowville, with connections at Monash University and Chadstone Shopping Centre.

Trackless trams have their own dedicated lane and use autonomous technology to control traffic lights which provides reliable and consistent travel time. Vehicles would travel at an average speed of 33-59km/h, compared with the 16km/h average speed of a Melbourne tram, making a trip from Rowville to Monash University in just 11 minutes.

“It’s really pleasing that we’re making progress in our advocacy efforts and that both levels of government and different sides of politics are recognising the need for better public transport solutions in Melbourne’s outer east,” Mayor Laukens concluded.

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