The Metropolitan Transit Authority (M.T.A.) was set up under Section 15 of the Transport Act 1983 (No.9921) and commenced operation on 1 July 1983. It was a statutory body set up to co-ordinate and manage the operations of the former Melbourne Metropolitan Tramways Board (M.M.T.B.) (VA 2694), the metropolitan train operations (MET RAIL) and the operations of the former Melbourne Underground Rail Loop Authority (M.U.R.L.A.).
All the assets and liabilities of M.M.T.B. and M.U.R.L.A. were taken over by the M.T.A. on 1 July 1983.
The Act set out the functions of the M.T.A. as follows:
to provide, manage and to operate transport services and facilities for passengers and freight in accordance with Government policy in metropolitan Melbourne.
to arrange with the State Transport Authority (S.T.A.) or other transport operations to provide transport services.
to co-ordinate transport services
to develop integrated ticket systems
to develop new modes of transport
to investigate and to promote and undertake research into matters relating to the performance of its functions, powers and duties, and
to provide, manage and operate tourist recreational facilities.
Relationship to the Minister of Transport
The M.T.A. carried out these functions under the general direction and control of the Minister of Transport.
Under the provisions of Section 16 (1) of the Transport Act 1983, the M.T.A. could operate certain services outside the Melbourne Metropolitan area with the approval of the Minister.
In accordance with the powers vested in the Minister under Section 32 (1) of the Act, Ministerial approval was required for the letting of contracts, appointment of consultants and staff, granting of research grants, the release staff to take up appointments following transfer or promotions between the Authorities (M.T.A. and S.T.A.) and the replacement of personnel retiring under the Early Retirement Plan.
Structure of the Authority
The MET employed more than 12,000 people across five divisions in 1984-85.
Met Rail Division
Until 30 June 1983, the metropolitan rail services were operated as an integral part of Vic Rail. After that date a separate Met Rail Division was established as part of M.T.A. to perform this function. The Chief General Manager of the Division reported on matters of safety to the S.T.A. Board and operationally to the Managing Director of M.T.A. to ensure that the Met Rail services and standards of service were those required by M.T.A.
The M.T.A. worked closely with the State Transport Authority (VA 1038) and had arrangements with the S.T.A. to provide Met Rail services and facilities for an agreed fee. The M.T.A. provided funds to the S.T.A. to operate trains on its behalf and for capital projects relating to Met Rail.
Documents used by Met Rail consisted of records of the Victorian Railway Board relating to metropolitan rail operations and records relating to its own role as part of the M.T.A. A separate Met Rail correspondence registry was maintained.
Personnel records relating to Met Rail matters were held separately, the Met Rail organisation having an integral personnel organisation. The finance and corporate services records relating to Met Rail matters were also held separately.
Tram and Bus Division
This Division's responsibility was to maintain the services of all trams, government buses and route operations of the bus network.
Documents relating to this Division include those of the former M.M.T.B. (VA 2694) and the Division's own operations comprising existing tram and bus services.
Marketing and Planning Division
This Division was responsible for identifying consumer needs and preferences, coordinating the total service and providing and developing strategies in operations and investment to meet the community's transport requirements. A Customer Services Department was established under this Division to deal with public transport enquiries.
Finance and Corporate Services
This Division provided financial, accounting, administrative and legal services.
Personnel and Employee Relations Division
This Division attended to the occupational requirements of all employees. It also controlled the combined M.T.A. and ministerial library.
Restructuring 1986 - 1988
During the year 1986-87, the Boards of the S.T.A. and the M.T.A. entered into a contractual agreement, concerning powers in the personnel management field, with respect to staff employed in Met Rail Division. The M.T.A. assumed full responsibility for personnel issues affecting the Met Rail staff. However, the S.T.A. continued to provide services to Met Rail, on behalf of the M.T.A. in the occupational medicine and occupational health, welfare and safety fields.
In 1986-87, the process of integration of the staff from the Met Rail with the staff of the Tram and Bus Division began. The first step in this direction was the consolidation of the personnel function through integration of the former Met Rail Personnel Group activities with the former corporate Bus and Tram Division. A Human Resources Division was established as a single integrated personnel section, comprising a composite staff from both tramways and railway background to support the total operations of the MET. The Director, Human Resources, reported to the Managing Director. Responsibility for industrial relations was transferred from the Human Resources Division and centralised under the control of the General Manager, Industrial Relations, who had responsibility for both V Line and the MET.
Establishment of an Integrated Tram, Train and Bus Service
By 11 April 1988 the total integration of the transport systems had been achieved and the departments responsible for the operation, maintenance and administration of trams, trains and buses had been brought together. The management of the Authority was restructured to provide an efficient integrated service to the public.
Three Directorates were established:
Engineering and Project Development and
The Operations Directorate was responsible for operating the three modes of transport: trains, trams and buses.
The Engineering and Project Development Directorate was responsible for the management of engineering projects related to the maintenance and construction of tracks, signals, buildings, bridges etc.
The Resources Directorate was responsible for planning, finance and administration, marketing and information systems.
The future direction for urban transport in Melbourne has been established in the Authority's document, MET Plan - Melbourne's transport blueprint for the future. It discusses options for the extension of the train network and the creation of a new light rail and bus network to meet the demands of the outer suburbs. The first light rail line in Australia came into operation on 20 November 1987 with the opening of the North-South Rail route running from East Brunswick to St. Kilda Beach. The opening of the Port Melbourne light rail line followed in December 1987.
The MET Plan also proposes a new network of cross-town bus routes (MET Link) to cater for local needs.
Merger with the State Transport Authority, 1989
On 1 July 1989, the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the State Transport Authority (VA 1038) combined to form the Public Transport Corporation (VA 2984).
Location of Records
See record series listed below.