New services fail to ease crush

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called for an immediate frequency upgrade of train services on the Werribee line to help ease severe overcrowding and congestion on roads.

PTUA spokesman Christopher Trikilis called on the Government to ‘stand up and deliver’ for passengers on the busy Werribee rail line and help improve severe overcrowding problems on the line. “Despite adding additional express trains in recent weeks on the line, poor implementation has done little to ease the overcrowding and lack of regular services in the peak times.”

One of these additional trains has been scheduled to departure Werribee at 7.43pm for the city; though running an express service at this time is questionable. “The fact that they choose to schedule a train at this late hour in the wrong direction shows the utter contempt the government has for peak-hour commuters in Melbourne’s growing west looking to get to or from work or leisure”, said Mr. Trikilis.

The PTUA called on the government to operate trains every 10 minutes on the Werribee line to serve a fast-growing region and provide residents and business with a genuine transport alternative. “We have huge traffic problems and growing congestion holding up freight due to the simple fact that people have the option of hopping on an overcrowded train every 20 minutes in peak hour or driving – the only solution for this is to improve the train frequencies immediately and build the much-needed Point Cook station to allow better access to the trains”, Mr. Trikilis said.

Upgrading services on the line need to be complimented with a frequent, reliable bus network connecting with trains and operating decent frequencies including evenings and weekends to reflect modern working and shopping hours.

“The government made it clear they don’t want to upgrade the Altona Loop which would allow trains every 5 minutes on the line and benefit the entire community. So now they must prove how they are going to solve the growing transport problem in the west”, concluded Mr. Trikilis.

Media coverage of this story: Werribee Times, 17 October 2006: Werribee’s poor frequency — New call for trains every 10 minutes