GRANTVILLE man, Ray Potter, 75, loves nothing more than catching up with mates at a rock’n’roll gig on a Friday night at Dandenong.
The problem is, after having his licence withdrawn five months ago due to minor dementia, he relies on public transport to get to and from Dandenong.
He has no trouble getting to the gig on the V-Line bus, but with the latest bus towards Inverloch, departing Dandenong at 9.15pm, he has no option but to catch a taxi home or miss out on the majority of the gig.
His last taxi cost $75 to get home, and as a pensioner, he simply can’t afford to continue the pastime.
The predicament is a prime example of the lack of transport options for South Gippsland and regional Victoria, while services in metropolitan areas continue to improve with 24-hour train trials and nightrider bus services to the suburbs.
Ray said he wants to see V-Line put on a bus at approximately 12am on Friday nights.
“I feel there’s a lot of people getting drunk and getting caught driving,” he said.
“I think people should be able to have a choice. Go on the bus and get back on the bus home at 12 o’clock at night.”
Attending the weekly gigs is also great for Ray’s mental and physical health.
“It’s good for the soul and good for everybody but nobody goes there,” he said.
“I live in the Grantville Caravan Park so not that much goes on here.
“I’m left out and so is probably a thousand other people.”
A Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources spokesperson said there has not been high demand for late night bus services to Inverloch.
“A number of issues must be considered when determining new bus services including the likely number of users, connectivity with other public transport services and the costs of providing those services,” he said.
“Transport improvements in South Gippsland are guided by the government’s Regional Network Development Plan and priorities are based on community feedback.
“All feedback regarding transport services is considered as part of the process to meet demand from the community.
“Visit www.ptv.vic.gov.au to have your say on improvements to the transport network in your area.”
The spokesperson said additional services to Inverloch will be considered in the future as part of the government’s ongoing investment in better public transport services for South Gippsland passengers.
“Any changes to existing services would require us to consult with the communities it services,” he said.
“The Government’s Regional Network Development Plan is currently delivering upgraded coach interchanges in Wonthaggi, Leongatha, Anderson, and Koo Wee Rup.”