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Annie Rahilly: media officer, University of Melbourne
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A transport strategist and researcher is calling for railway stations to be transformed into community hubs with upgraded architectural facilities and improved services.

Dr Chris Hale, Lecturer in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering at The University of Melbourne, believes stations are the cornerstone of an effective public transport system.

“Major suburban stations like Caulfield should be improved into multi-use destinations such as with convenience retail, cafes, post offices, dry-cleaners and small supermarkets. This retail development element will offset improvement costs. Southern Cross station is a larger example of this,” he said.

Dr Hale recently spoke at a workshop “Transit Stations and Access” offering insights into how stations should be changed into some of the most important facilities in our communities over the next five to 10 years.
According to Dr Hale, stations should be the hub of a community and define the suburb or location of where it sits.

“Architectural quality could be upgraded immensely. Equally, we'll see vastly improved access conditions by feeder buses, for pedestrians, and major expansion to bike parking and access,” said Dr Hale.
“The question remains however about the state of readiness of industry and government for this transition and equally the state of some of our biggest and smallest stations at this point are absolutely disgraceful, such as Richmond station.