The Metropolitan Transport Forum (MTF) is a local government interest group for transport in metropolitan Melbourne. Established for 18 years, MTF now comprises 22 city councils or LGAs from metropolitan Melbourne and 25 associate members from the transport sector, environment groups and the State Government.Most of Melbourne’s metropolitan city councils are members, including our western neighbours of Wyndham, Maribyrnong, Brimbank and Moonee Valley. Those councils that are not members include Hobsons Bay, Maroondah, Monash, Melton, Greater Dandenong, Cardinia, Knox, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Ranges. Interestingly, Hobsons Bay is the only inner/middle Melbourne LGA not in the group. There may be good reasons (such as cost-effectiveness considerations and goal complementarity) behind the decisions of these city councils to stay outside the group, for which I will not have known.

The associate members include the Department of Transport, Metro Trains, Yarra Trams, Bus Association of Victoria, Metlink, the PTUA (Public Transport User Association), etc. The full list of members can be viewed here.

The objectives of MTF, as described on its website: “The MTF endeavours to promote effective, efficient and equitable transport in metropolitan Melbourne by providing a forum for debate, research and policy development, and by disseminating information to improve transport choices.” From the “About MTF” page, what interests me the most among the various Membership Benefits is the “Opportunity to influence decision making at state level“.

MTC had launched in early 2007, a Public Transport Research and Advocacy Project, pt4me2, whose objective is to give the community a channel to have a say about public transport in Melbourne. It has a website, mobile site, blog, Facebook group, YouTube channel, twitter feed and email list. pt4me2 is funded by local councils while PTUA (Public Transport User Association) is a community group but both have common aims, often working together to advocate for public transport.