The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed the announcement of extra train services onto Melbourne’s overcrowded rail network, but warned that this should only be the first step to addressing the problems plaguing the system.
“Premier Brumby knows he has to work to solve our transport crisis, and this is a good first step”, said PTUA President Daniel Bowen. “However, with such growth on our network the next step is to announce the purchase of more trains to complement the recent order and provide enough room for present and future passengers on the system.”
Mr Bowen said that while the announcement of extra trains was welcome news to commuters sick of being trapped like sardines on overcrowded and infrequent services, only some lines are will get extra peak hour services. The PTUA continues to call for:
- The purchase of at least 10 additional train sets each year to complement the existing fleet,
- A complete re-write of the timetables to provide services that better cater for passenger demand, including services at least every 15 minutes until midnight, seven days a week,
- Elimination of single track sections to allow more trains to operate (especially on the Werribee, Epping, Cranbourne and Hurstbridge Lines),
- Construction of train lines to Mernda, Doncaster and Rowville, and new stations on existing lines to provide more Melburnians with better access to rail services, and
- Reform of the management of public transport to ensure that such future growth is planned and catered for properly in future, rather than the system continuing to descend into the type of “capacity crisis” we have today as demand grows.
“We have seen huge growth in passenger demand for rail, but there has been a lack of planning and commitment to cope with this growth. The government must stop playing catch-up and provide the necessary planning and services to ensure more passengers are catered for and encouraged, to give Melbourne a truly world-class rail system”, Mr. Bowen said.
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For more information, see the PTUA paper “Getting Our Rail System On Track”