Criticism over "nightclub bus" plan

THE state government has criticised Labor's plan for late-night transport as unnecessary and unsafe for passengers.

Acting Transport Minister David Hodgett said the government would not support a proposed trial of 24-hour weekend public transport in Melbourne.

Under Labor's plan there would also be 2am buses to Bendigo and other regional areas.

Mr Hodgett said these "nightclub buses" would be plagued by safety concerns. 

He said without more Protective Services Officers (PSOs) the plan "would spread the troubles on King Street to every train, tram and bus stop".

Labor have announced they would employ more PSOs to assist with the $50million, one-year-long trial.

Mr Hodgett said there were questions over the budget and how the system would cope with the extra services.

"There is no mention of Labor buying additional trains, trams and buses, which will be needed to implement this policy, as there will be reduced time to do much-needed maintenance on the fleet and network," he said.

Mr Hodgett said the current level of public transport services met the demand of "the vast majority of customers at weekends, with the last train leaving around 1am and trams operating to 2am."

Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards said she believed there would be strong demand for the 2am service to Bendigo.

She said it gave people more flexibility in going to Melbourne and not having to worry about rushing back.

"It's good for people working in Melbourne," she said.

"It's also great for people going to sporting events or concerts, or shows."

The trial would go ahead if Labor win's the state election in November.

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