RESIDENTS and commuters are calling for urgent action on public transport in Monash ahead of the Eastern Transport Coalition summit next week.

The summit, hosted by seven eastern metropolitan councils, including Monash, has invited the State Government and Opposition to listen to ideas to fix public transport.

ETC chairperson Mick Van De Vreede said a transport plan for the eastern suburbs was needed.

“With rapidly escalating population, petrol prices and climate change, there is an obvious need for us to increase transport options for our residents.

“It is widely recognized that the current system is nearing capacity so we need to plan for the generational step that is needed in the outer east over the next 10 years.”

Residents group Monash Liveability Coalition has called for another railway line and more peak-time buses to stop at work and activity hubs within the city.

MLC spokesman John Shrives said buses traditionally stopped at shopping centers, stations, and main arterials, but more direct services were needed to get people to work.

“When we ask people why they don’t use public transport, many say it’s too crowded at peak hour.

“With all the development in Monash, in Knox and in Greater Dandenong, there is a need to serve people with proper public transport, like a light rail or extensions of the rail line.”

He hoped Monash Council would get behind the MLC’s push.

Monash Mayor Paul Klisaris said EastLink’s opening was expected to ease traffic congestion on major arterial roads such as Springvale and Blackburn roads and at major intersections east-west routes.

Public Transport Users Association outer east convener Jeremy Lunn said Monash’s most important needs were Springvale Road bus lanes, traffic priority for buses at all traffic lights, and upgraded SmartBus and off-peak train services.