Careful Commonwealth investment in public transport will soon ease the worsening traffic congestion in Melbourne’s West and give residents from Melbourne to Geelong relief from ever-lengthening daily trips to and from work.

The Regional Rail Link is a visionary Labor government-funded project that will boost productivity and ease congestion on Victorian roads.

The project was funded in part by $3.225 billion provided by the former Labor Government – the biggest commonwealth investment in any public transport project in the nation’s history.

The previous Labor Government invested more in infrastructure than all previous governments.

Regional Rail separates suburban railway services from regional services heading to and from the city from Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.

By untangling these regional and suburban lines, Regional Rail will speed up travel for passengers on both, creating capacity for an extra 54,000 passenger journeys a day.

In addition to employing at least 15,000 Victorians since construction commenced in 2010, Regional Rail will deliver real productivity gains for the Victorian economy by reducing congestion.

It’s a reminder that if we want successful cities that are productive, sustainable and liveable, we need to invest in properly integrated transport systems that involve roads, rail and light rail.

Regional Rail would not have happened if the former Labor Government had not been prepared to invest in public transport.

It also highlights the folly of the current Abbott Government’s refusal to invest in public transport, including the Melbourne Metro project, which would have delivered further productivity and lifestyle gains for Victorians.

Labor is committed to working with other levels of government, the private sector and the community to deliver more productive sustainable and liveable cities.

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