Local students say school buses could be used to improve public transport locally. Pictured, from left, are Lucy Capurso, Rebecca HurleyIvan Reyes-Eames, Chloe Bethune, Orlando Davidson and Jazmine-Rose Carrington.
By Anhar Al-Shameri
WELLINGTON Shire students are this week advocating for better access to public transport for people living in regional areas at the 2019 YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament.
Their bill proposes integrating school buses into the public transport system to increase accessibility to the public without large additional costs.
The Wellington Shire team chose this bill as it knows first-hand the difficulties of getting around in regional areas, especially for young people.
Student Lucy Capurso said for regional youth, opportunities could often be limited because of location and access to public transport.
According to the Victorian Transport Atlas in 2013, 80 per cent of work journeys in the Wellington Shire were by car drivers, while less than one per cent were by public transport. It is assumed little would have changed since then.
The Youth Parliament Bill proposes that the proposed public transport system would be consistent with the other modes of public transportation in Victoria, and include the use of Myki cards, strict timetables, and an accompanying mobile application.
The bill also suggests the development of a separate branch of PTV, called Public Transport Victoria Regional, to facilitate management.
The YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament is currently sitting.
It began yesterday and will sit through until Thursday.
YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament is a program designed to give young Victorians between the ages of 16 and 25 a chance to be heard at the highest levels of state government on a wide range of issues relevant to young people’s lives.
More than 30 Youth Parliament bills have gone on to become Victorian legislation.
Anhar Al-Shameri is a member of the YMCA youth press gallery.
This article originally appeared on the Gippsland Times, July 2, 2019.