As part of the Victorian Budget 2018/19, South Yarra Station will undergo a $12.33 million redevelopment. Finally.
For commuters that means a wider Toorak Road entrance, upgraded trams stops outside the station, and a redesign of the layout for Melbourne’s busiest station outside the CBD.
The new layout is intended to reduce queuing in and out of the station, which sees roughly 32,000 passengers pass through it every day.
“We know South Yarra is busy – that’s why we’re making it quicker and easier to get out of the station, particularly during the peak,” says Jacinta Allan, minister for public transport, in a statement.
The City of Stonnington has been putting pressure on the state government for an upgrade, citing a lack of universal accessibility and concerns of overcrowding outside the station during peak hours. Anyone who travels up and down Toorak Road at peak hour knows that problem well.
Upgraded tram stops opposite the station entrance will also give people with a disability safer, sheltered access across from the station.
The upgrades are still in the planning stages but the Andrews government has said it will consult with the City of Stonnington, local businesses and residents on the design. Further planning will also investigate options for a fully accessible station, improved cycling facilities and more access points.
Construction is expected to begin by mid-2019 and be finished by the end of that year.
In 2016 the Greens put forward a $20 million plan to upgrade the station and to investigate a South Yarra interchange linking it with the Melbourne Metro Tunnel. A South Yarra Metro Tunnel stop has since been abandoned. (The Liberal Party also pushed for a Metro Tunnel stop at the station.)
“These works, combined with the Metro Tunnel, will mean less queues and more trains for South Yarra Station to get people home faster and more comfortably,” continues Allan in her statement.
The Metro Tunnel will, though, allow more trains to run on the City Loop, including extra Sandringham Line trains, which run through South Yarra Station.