We have called the government’s bluff and now we are asking: Can the government reform CDC Victoria's routes in the West now?
The Sustainable Cities collective have been campaigning for Better Buses for 2 solid years. During this time we have built strong, lasting relationships with and amongst community members across Melbourne’s Western suburbs, sharing powerful stories and exposing the groundswell of demand for bus reform that has long been bubbling away within communities.
In May this year the Victorian government announced changes to their process for recontracting bus companies. Rather than one-on-one negotiations, the contracts will be put out to a public tender for bus companies to bid on.
They told us that this will make bus reform easier to do, as it will eliminate the issue of having too many smaller bus companies running 1-2 routes across the network which, they said, is what has made reform difficult in the past.
However, we know that the bus company CDC Victoria - a private bus company backed by global corporation Comfort Del Gro - runs the majority of the bus routes in Melbourne’s Western suburbs, including all of the services in Wyndham. Of the 55 bus routes that they run across the network, 49 of them run out of their 3 depots in the West.
This major company has all of the capacity and capability to reform their routes, and we know that the bus planners in the Department of Transport and Planning have the skills to execute this reform in the immediate term.
That's why we want to see commitment to a pilot for reform in the West now.