Skip navigation

Mount Atkinson residents are demanding Better Buses!

Residents from one of Melbourne's most isolated estates, Mount Atkinson, in the Western suburb of Truganina, are fed up with being left behind by the state government, and are demanding the buses and other services that they deserve... 

On Saturday 18th of March, the Sustainable Cities collective met with a group of residents from the Mt. Atkinson Estate in Truganina, in the City of Melton. The energy in the room was palpable, as the residents shared their frustrations with us, and ideas for how we can enact change, and get Better Buses for their community. 

For context, the closest train station to Mt. Atkinson Estate is 16 minutes by car, or more than 1 hour walking on a busy highway with no footpath. There are no buses, the closest bus stop is more than a 45-minute walk down an unsafe highway full of big trucks and fast cars. 

Our group attempted to walk from the Estate to the bus stop, however, the conditions were treacherous. We walked towards Hopkins Rd, crossed wide streets with traffic lights that don’t work yet, until eventually reaching a point where the footpath stops! (see photo!). To get to the closest bus stop from here, residents would need to walk through bushes, on an overpass and on the highway while traffic zooms by at 70 km/hr. 

One resident shared that she has completely lost mobility. After a car accident some years back, she has developed a phobia of driving, and as a result she relies on her husband to drive her everywhere. He has a full time job as a bus driver working 5-6 days a week, so often she is left stuck at home all day long. She has had to quit her job as she cannot access any public transport, and she cannot access the shops for basic needs or recreation such as creative classes for social connection. It has gotten to the point where they are thinking about going back home to their remote village in rural India, because at least there they have a bus... 

Others are sick of being dependent on their cars, having to fork out for expensive petrol during this cost-of-living crisis, and are asking the state government to invest in better buses so that they can have greater access to jobs, education and healthcare. This is especially crucial for them as their estate has no pharmacy, no doctors and not even a supermarket...

There is a lot of energy within the community, and together we have created the following points of action:

  • We made a video to capture Randeep's experience for the Sustainable Cities Campaign (check the post on Instagram!).
  • We are creating posters to raise awareness of our campaign in Mt.Atkinson and surrounding estates, and get the issue on the local agenda.
  • We are planning a community meeting in April to connect with more residents, hear their stories and understand their needs for transport. The day will involve creating a banner together and photo op
  • The residents will join forces with the Stockland Mt Atkinson Estate's advocacy team to pressure local MPs to commit to create new bus lines for Mt Atkinson residents and reform buses in the West
  • We will plan a Melton-wide community forum with local community and decision makers to hear more about the state of transport in Melbourne, and how to get Better Buses for the community

If you want to get on board and help these residents and other communities across the West have access to Better Buses, you can sign up to volunteer here, or join one of our collective meetings here.

Watch this space… 

Continue Reading

Read More