The Transport (Amendment) Act 1989 (No.44) drew together all responsibilities relating to the provision of public transport services under a single agency, the Public Transport Corporation. Prior to the establishment of the Corporation responsibility was shared by the State Transport Authority commonly known as V/Line (VA 1038) (primarily operating outside the Melbourne metropolitan area) and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (VA 1044) primarily operating within the metropolitan area.
The functions of the Public Transport Corporation, as laid down by its establishing legislation, are essentially an amalgamation of those carried out by the two agencies previously responsible for the provision of public transport services. They include:
to provide, manage and operate transport services and facilities for passengers and freight
to arrange with other transport operators, people and bodies for the provision of transport services
to control and maintain all railway and railway ancillary equipment in the state
to co-ordinate transport services
to develop integrated ticket systems
to develop new modes of transport
to promote and undertake research into any matter related to the performance of its functions, powers or duties
to provide, manage and operate tourist and recreational facilities
to compete for work on the open market.
The Public Transport Corporation is subject to the control and general direction of the Director-General of Transport and, ultimately, the Minister for Transport. A fourteen-member Public Transport Corporation Board is appointed by the Minister to provide advice to the Chief Executive of the Corporation.
The Public Transport Corporation is also assisted by a Workshop Board comprising nine or more members representing the Corporation and staff and management from the Corporation's railway workshops throughout the state. This Board is responsible to the Corporation for the administration and management of the workshops.
Although the merger of the State Transport Authority (VA 1038) and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (VA 1044) to form the Public Transport Corporation brought responsibility for both metropolitan and country transport services within the ambit of the one agency, it is expected that the Corporation will continue to operate with two distinct functional divisions. Corporate and management services are, however, being integrated and it is likely that a common record-keeping system will be established. Further research will be necessary to determine the extent to which the functional division is retained in the Corporation's structure in the long term.