Ahead of contract renewals for Melbourne’s train network, the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called for much needed upgrades on the Alamein line.
“Alamein commuters are sick and tired of being treated as second class citizens of the train system,” said Jeremy Lunn, the PTUA’s Outer-East Convenor.
To improve travel times, the association has proposed that all Alamein trains run directly to and from Flinders Street. Such a move would eliminate the current shuttle arrangement, saving up to five minutes on a return trip.
“It’s time to retire the incredibly slow shuttle trains, replacing them with a proper Alamein train service,” Mr Lunn said. “Not only would direct trains result in reduced travel times, overcrowding would also be alleviated between Camberwell and the city,” Mr Lunn said.
The PTUA also wants peak hour services upgraded to run at least every ten minutes. The current peak hour service has gaps of up to twenty minutes, which is less frequent than the fifteen minute service offered during the day time.
“It is a joke when the peak hour service runs less frequently than off-peak and these large gaps are a great inconvenience to Alamein commuters. It’s little wonder that commuters with cars are finding even congested roads more attractive than public transport,” Mr Lunn said.
Mr Lunn said that the idea of direct trains is not a new concept and that shuttle trains were introduced in the past as an effort to downgrade the Alamein line.
“The Alamein line is now an under-utilised asset that could be put to far better use. It will remain under-utilised until we see such upgrades.”
“The Brumby Government needs to show they are committed towards tackling the real issues of traffic congestion and climate change by upgrading public transport,” Mr Lunn concluded.