My adjournment request is to the Minister for Public Transport and the action I seek is for the Minister to ensure that regular school time bus services are provided so that students who live in and around Mitcham can take public transport directly to their school, Aquinas College.
Aquinas is a secondary college in my Electorate. It has an enrolment of 1600 students. Many of these young people use public transport to get to school, and I am very concerned that students have almost no opportunity to take public transport to school outside one bus stopping at Aquinas College after 8am.
For students living in around Mitcham and Ringwood, there is only one bus route option to Aquinas – the 380 from Ringwood Station. Between 8am and 9am in the morning, PTV tells me there is only one bus that stops directly outside Aquinas. There is no option for students to get to Aquinas from nearby Mitcham Station. The route planner says to get on a train to Ringwood and bus or walk from there
This situation is unacceptable. It forces parents to either drive their children to school, increasing congestion on our already choking roads, or make these young people walk long distances carrying heavy school gear, including kids with disabilities.
A concerned constituent raised this matter with me after hearing about two 12 year-old Aquinas students that were mugged by three adult men while walking to school from Ringwood Station. One of the boys involved in the incident suffers from Cerebral Palsy and I’m told they will both most likely need ongoing counselling.
More public transport services are needed for vulnerable kids in my electorate to get to school safely, and to protect them from cowardly, opportunistic thugs, like the ones who robbed these two innocent boys.
It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to figure out that one bus stopping between 8am and 9am outside a school with 1600 students is clearly insufficient.
Minister will you please consider additional bus services from Mitcham and Ringwood Station, and allow more kids to get to Aquinas College safely and on time.