Public transport

What is the issue?

Increased urban density in Stonnington (to meet state government policies) is reliant upon high quality public transport services. Despite being well covered by public transport, with five different train lines across 15 stations, nine tram routes, 24 bus routes, and 99 per cent of households being within 400m walk of at least one public transport route, the current frequency, accessibility and interconnectivity of train, tram and bus services fall far short of meeting community needs.

There has been a strong upward trend in public transport use amongst residents (4 per cent increase from 2006 to 2011); however, only 26 per cent of residents use public transport for their journey to work.

Council has no direct role providing additional public transport services, however, Council does have an important advocacy role to secure frequent and accessible services to meet the demands of a growing population.

The City of Stonnington cannot emphasise enough that improved public transport infrastructure and service connections to deliver a safe, accessible and efficient transport system is critically important to connect our people to places and jobs.

Our strategic approach

Council’s Public Transport Advocacy Plan (2014) outlines five high priority public transport priorities that would significantly benefit the Stonnington community and have positive flow-on effects for public transport patronage and easing of traffic congestion.

What needs to change?

To adequately service our growing community and ensure the economic prosperity of key activity centres, Stonnington needs:

  • increased service frequency and span of train and tram services
  • upgraded public transport in the Chapel Street / South Yarra precinct
  • upgraded railway stations
  • improved bus services
  • accessible infrastructure, and 
  • improved public transport access to Chadstone Shopping Centre.


Key concerns

Key commitments sought by Victorian Government

Increased service frequency and span of train and tram services

The frequency of tram services in Stonnington is typically lower (five services per hour) than other parts of Melbourne (six services per hour) during the day. On some rail corridors, demand exceeds the capacity of current services, particularly at peak times. These issues have the twin negative impact of discouraging public transport use and exacerbating traffic congestion.


  • Provide a consistent headway of 10 minutes between services on train lines and tram routes every day from at least 6am to 7pm.
  • Provide all night tram services on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Provide additional peak-hour services on the Glen Waverley and Sandringham train line.
  • Operate a Glen Waverley and Sandringham train service every 10 minutes.

Upgraded public transport in the Chapel Street / South Yarra precinct

As one of Melbourne’s premier destinations, the Chapel Street / South Yarra precinct is experiencing significant growth in population and employment. Public transport options need to be significantly improved or major vehicle congestion will result in negative impacts on driver behaviour, local amenity and economic prosperity of the local areas.

  • Upgrade South Yarra Station as part of the Melbourne Metropolitan Rail Project.
  • Build a northern entrance to South Yarra Station that leads directly into Yarra Lane.
  • Improve tram speeds and safety by rationalising tram stops, reviewing signal strategies and investigating turn restrictions.
  • Improve public transport links to South Melbourne and Tooronga by extending tram routes.
  • Bus priority at intersections at Commercial Road / Chapel Street and Alexandra Avenue / Chapel Street intersections will deliver the greatest benefit.

Upgraded railway stations

The 15 railway stations in Stonnington service almost 11 million passengers each year. Only three of the stations are ‘premium stations’ (staffed from first to last train), six are ‘host stations’ (staffed in the morning peak) and six do not have any Metro Trains’ staff presence. At many stations, passengers need to walk significant additional distances to access platforms.


  • Install Parkiteer bicycle facilities at Armadale, Prahran, South Yarra, Glen Iris, Kooyong and Tooronga.
  • Add extra entrances at some stations to improve tram interchange opportunities and pedestrian access.
  • Provide toilets and indoor waiting facilities on all stations.
  • Upgrade Holmesglen and Prahran to ‘premium stations’ and designate the new Gardiner Station as a ‘premium station’.

Improved bus services


The bus network currently fails to meet gaps in the fixed rail network and does not sufficiently link the fixed rail network with major hubs.

  • Commit to implementing recommendations from the Boroondara/Glen Eira/Stonnington Bus Service Review.

Improve public transport access to Chadstone Shopping Centre

Despite very high rates of public transport use in Stonnington, very few people from Stonnington access Chadstone Shopping Centre by public transport. This is primarily owing to fragmentation of the public transport network and poorly interconnected services.


  • Extending tram Route 3 to Chadstone Shopping Centre would fill the 3km gap between the existing Route 3 terminus and Chadstone Shopping Centre. This would improve access from the west and reduce traffic congestion on Princes Highway and Waverley Road. It would also improve access between the Glen Waverley railway line and Monash University Caulfield by facilitating easier transfer to Route 3 at East Malvern Station.
  • Investigate the feasibility of an underground railway connection to Chadstone Shopping Centre.
  • Consider new bus routes as per the Bus Services Review.

Council action

  • Despite being well covered by public transport, the current frequency, accessibility and interconnectivity of train, tram and bus services in Stonnington fall far short of meeting community needs and expectations.
  • A poorly-serviced public transport network contributes to congestion on roads and undermines the significant financial investment of the State Government in public transport infrastructure.
  • Council has met with the State Government on the plans to upgrade the existing South Yarra Station, and will continue seek to influence the scope of works and improvements needed to meet the needs of our growing community.