The Rowville corridor in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia is perhaps one of the most car dependent metropolitan communities in the country.
Statistics show that most households own at least 2 cars and up to 6 is not uncommon.
When the suburb was first planned as a growth suburb in the 1950s, plans were drawn up for a railway line to which would run east-west to provide a form of mass transit.
Post-war, the Rowville corridoor has grown rapidly over the years and residents, and gained a university campus however the rail line never happened.
Successive governments have ignored the problem and eventually in the 1980s, in an effort to relieve growing traffic congestion, the reserve which was set aside for the line became Wellington Road.
Since the 1990s, the effect of rising petrol costs and a bus system on the verge of collapsed caused residents and university students to act.
The general consensus among Rowville residents and workers is that any railway line to Rowville would run east-west along or parallel to Wellington Road linking to the Pakenham (and Cranbourne) rail lines at Huntingdale to provide a form of mass transit to this growing suburb.
The stations suggested for the line are Monash University, Rowville Parkway and Stud Park. An alternative route could involve an extension of the Glen Waverley railway line by tunelling under residential areas and linking to Stud Park along the Dandenong Creek valley.
The Department of Infrastructure put the price of the railway line at $225 million, however it was later found that the actual cost was more like $100 million. Independent Local councils put feasibility costs between $400-500 million.
The government announced a suprise $2 billion freeway project called "Eastlink", a new north-south freeway between Mitcham and Frankston as a partial solution to the problem. However the government re-negged on its election promise and turned the freeway into an expensive tollway. Many argue that the Rowville railway line would decrease congestion for a fraction of this money and that Eastlink will only worsen the problem.
Following several expensive consultations and investigations, and calls from the area's local councils in 2006, the Bracks government announced that their solution to the Rowville transport crisis was the "SmartBus", an electronically timetabled bus system with priority lanes at a cost of $33 million. The trials of the system failed spectacularly. Electronic systems failed to work and traffic congestion caused the buses to run behind time and the project rollout is indefinately stalled.
It is clear that the only solution is for the government to commit to construction of the Rowville Railway line as soon as possible. The rail line would massively cut the travel time for residents, greatly reducing costs and car dependence.
We, the undersigned, call on the Victorian Government to commit to construction of the proposed Rowville Railway line as soon as possible.
The Rowville Railway Line - Build it Now petition to Victorian Government was written by Chocky and is in the category Roads & Transport at GoPetition.