By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A new bus route will run every 30 minutes at weekday peak times between Keysborough South and Noble Park station, the State Government has announced.
The route 816 service will link schools and shops, including new bus stops near Keysborough Gardens Primary School, Sirius College and Mount Hira College.
It will run seven days a week, with 60 minutes between buses at weekday off-peak times and weekends.
The service via Church Road, Chapel Road and Hutton Road travels to the roundabout of Perry Road and Tyers Lane.
It will be coordinated with trains at Noble Park station at peak times.
The route 813 between Dandenong and Waverley Gardens shopping centre is also set to be upgraded.
It will be consolidated with the Dandenong-Noble Park route 815 – which will be removed.
Route 813 will include more frequent buses and an extended timetable every day of the week, the Government stated.
It will be coordinated with peak train services at Dandenong station.
Greater Dandenong councillor Rhonda Garad welcomed extra public transport in car-dependent Keysborough.
The council had however preferred a “quicker, more direct” 816 route between Keysborough South and Sandown Park railway station.
It would also push for 30-minute intervals between buses from 7am-8pm, Cr Garad said.
The council was also lobbying for the Government to install bus shelters on the route.
Currently, none have been promised, she said.
“The residents have said they will use buses more if they are not standing out there for an hour in the sun and rain.
“It’s going to be gruelling standing in the hot sun and pouring rain, especially on Chapel Road where there’ little tree coverage.”
Keysborough resident Nina Kelly said that after six year of campaigning she was “thrilled” that buses would run in the “broader Keysborough infill area”. “This route presents a more inclusive mobility option to an additional 1200 households, places of worship and three schools by providing a bus service less than 200 metres from their homes.
“The community is awaiting further confirmation as to whether these new stops will have shelters with seating.”
Keysborough resident Dom Boccari said he hoped the bus service would deter “speeding trucks” using Chapel Road as a rat-run.
“It’s going to provide a bus service and be the road’s own traffic-calming device.”
Keysborough MP Martin Pakula, who pledged the new bus route at the 2018 state election, said new and improved buses made it a “viable transport option” for the growing South East.
“We have made changes to these services to give locals more choice about when they travel and better connections to ongoing transport options.”
Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams said there would be improved transport options to get to “popular destinations” Parkmore and Waverley Gardens shopping centres.
“The 813 service will also align better with train services at Dandenong Station, helping residents get to and from work and school.”
The new timetable will be unveiled on 29 October, with the new bus services starting on 28 November.