Every day between the peaks, some lines are packed because the trains run only every 20 minutes.
Melbourne is growing; to cut waiting times and crowding, we need frequent services all day.
If you look at a map of Melbourne’s public transport network, you’d be right in thinking it’s a substantial service covering most of the city.
But it will only attract people out of their cars if service quality is better.
Frequency has to improve. With most suburban buses running only every 30-60 minutes, and even waits for trains and trams being as much as 20 to 40 minutes outside peak times, people can spend more time waiting for a service than travelling on it.
Running all trains, trams and main road buses at least “every ten minutes to everywhere” all day, every day, would ensure that all of Melbourne has a “turn up and go” network that people can use without having to check a timetable first, and that connections are easy.
Melbourne’s trains: you might not expect a seat in peak hour, but on Sunday mornings? Most lines are very infrequent – and they’re packed.
Services on the Werribee, Williamstown, Sunbury, Craigieburn, Upfield, Mernda, Hurstbridge and Sandringham lines on Sundays run only every 40 minutes until about 10am, resulting in crowding, while spare trains sit idle in stabling yards.
It hasn’t changed in decades. Sunday 10am to 7pm frequencies were increased in 1999 to 20 minutes, but the morning 40 minute gaps have existed since the 1970s.
This is not good enough for a growing city of 5 million people. To get Melbourne moving, it’s time for frequent train services every 10 minutes on all Metro lines, every day of the week.