AFTER almost 10 years in the role, Melbourne's chief complainer about public transport has finally had enough.
Daniel Bowen is stepping down as president of the Public Transport Users Association, a volunteer role that has made him the city's most visible advocate for the millions who ride trains, trams and buses.
He does so in the belief that the standard of public transport in Melbourne is better today than when he took on the role, in no small part due to the pressure the association has applied to politicians and transport operators.
''We've had some significant wins,'' he says. ''All-night services on New Year's Eve, more services moving Melbourne towards our 'every 10 minutes to everywhere' vision, and recognition from politicians of both sides of the importance of public transport.''
But there's still room for improvement, he cautions: ''Politicians of all flavours would do well to remember that the last election swung on public transport issues.''
Mr Bowen grew up in East St Kilda in a carless family, and his parents never learnt to drive. He does drive, but only when compelled by a lack of decent public transport. ''I live in Bentleigh, where public transport is great for trips into the city, but if you want to go elsewhere it's just buses and the buses are mostly useless,'' he says.
The association has about 1000 members, but an active core of a dozen. A new president will be elected next month.