Bicycles to be banned from peak hour trains

BicycleV/Line and Connex plan to ban bicycles on peak hour trains from the 1st of January 2008. The V/Line ban will apply to all trains in the peak direction, and we understand that the Connex ban will apply to all trains in the peak direction within zone 1. (Bicycles will be allowed at all times within zone 2, including stations in the zone 1/2 overlap.)

The PTUA is opposed to this ban.

While we recognise that many peak hour services are crowded, we are aware of a number of passengers who genuinely need their bicycles at both ends of their train trip. These represent only a small number of people relative to total passenger loads. So a total ban is unlikely to have a big effect on crowding, while unfairly disadvantaging those people who need to take their bikes on trains.

More use of bicycles helps keep cars off the road, and combining bikes with train use can make more trips competitive with car travel.

Instead of a complete ban, we would be open to re-introducing a small fee for taking bicycles on trains in the peak direction (to discourage unnecessary use), in conjunction with the provision of more secure bicycle storage at stations where demand currently outstrips supply (including regional stations).

Other measures that could be considered would include:

  • Waiving or reducing the bond for bicycle lockers (currently up to $100) for concession card holders
  • Limiting bikes to the last carriage of trains (often less crowded than carriages in the middle of the train)
  • Limiting the number of bikes on peak V/Line trains to a certain number of pre-booked (first come, first served) places, based on expected passenger loading, with the conductor having discretion

And of course the longterm solution is to provide more train services, so that overcrowding doesn’t occur in the first place!

Get active

We would encourage concerned people to get active on this issue. Write to the Department of Infrastructure Public Transport Division, V/Line and Connex.

And contact your local MP, write to the newspapers (metropolitan dailies or your local newspaper) and call talkback radio.

You can also join in the Bin The Bike Ban campaign organised by concerned cyclists.

Media coverage

We will continue to update this web page as developments occur

1-Feb-2008: We are advised that while there is a review of the bans, no action will be taken against any cyclist with a bicycle on a peak hour train.

15-Feb-2008: The ban has been officially withdrawn. More information.