The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called for upgrades to public transport services for White Night, in response to long delays and overcrowding at the all-night festival.
PTUA President Tony Morton said clearly White Night was a huge success, with estimates of 500,000 people attending, and the state government was to be congratulated for running trains and trams all night, but that more services had to be provided to cut overcrowding.
“There were widespread reports of inbound services at crush load early in the evening, resulting in many passengers having no choice but to keep waiting up to half-an-hour for the next train or tram”, said Dr Morton.
“It has similarities to the disaster of New Year’s Eve 2004, with public transport swamped by huge crowds, before a PTUA campaign ensured that frequent all-night services were introduced.
“For White Night, crowds heading home are more dispersed, but there were still problems.
“It’s obvious that the level of services needs to be reviewed and upgraded.”
Dr Morton said that with visitor numbers for White Night being of a similar magnitude to commuters in a normal weekday rush hour, half-hourly services were simply inadequate, and he called on the government to act.
“Metro, Yarra Trams, bus operators and the state government need to look at the crowds, review the transport arrangements, and make sure that more trains, trams and buses are in service next year, to help ensure White Night is a complete success in the future.”
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Photos from White Night attendees on Twitter:
Saturday night train to Melbourne, packed like sardines at Caulfield! Extra trains perhaps @metrotrains #WhiteNight pic.twitter.com/TVn8uXELBs
— Andrew Howard (@thirtyfiveblack) February 22, 2014
Gee @MetroTrains did well planning for a major event. Could not get on! Next train half an hour away. pic.twitter.com/Pp3g3xNEko
— Matt Thompson AFL (@MattThompson) February 22, 2014
This is worse than peak hour. Many people left behind at tram stops. #whitenightmelb //cc @yarratrams @Vic_Premier pic.twitter.com/Nu2BId6jdT
— Melbourne PT user (@mttb123) February 22, 2014
Might be a while until I get down on platform to get on my train at Flinders St #whitenightmelb pic.twitter.com/bmvElUv5Pn
— Amy Feldtmann (@AmyFeldtmann) February 22, 2014
3am route 19 tram at Flinders St. First stop and it's already overcrowded. #YarraTrams #WhiteNightMelb @danielbowen pic.twitter.com/KnVZQEv0VF
— Jordan (@alliterateme) February 22, 2014
We can confirm the trains are full-ish #whitenightmelb #busy pic.twitter.com/eInLQFoZP7
— 3AW Melbourne (@3AW693) February 22, 2014