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Media Release


Sunday Train Services Slashed - Minister Must Protect Public Interest

The Public Transport Users Association has condemned plans by private operator M-Train to cut Sunday evening services on half of Melbourne's rail network.

PTUA Secretary Vaughan Williams said that M-Train, who operate train services in the northern, western and south-eastern suburbs, were treating their passengers with contempt by cutting the Sunday evening service frequency from 30 to 40 minutes; terminating train services at around 11pm instead of midnight, and closing the city loop at 7pm.

"Hot on the heels of the private rail operators declaring their intention to fine passengers who can't buy tickets due to faulty machines $100, M-Train seems more determined than ever to chase their customers back into their cars," said Mr Williams

Mr Williams called upon Transport Minister Peter Batchelor to intervene in the public interest.

"The Government has guaranteed, through the Passengers Charter, that there will be no changes to timetables unless the Director of Public Transport approves them after consulting with an independent Committee which includes consumer representation," said Mr Williams.

"The Minister must not allow the private operators to axe services just because it suits them. M-Train cannot be allowed to get away with treating their passengers so badly and flouting the proper processes. Lets not forget that these private operators are being paid hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers' money to provide these services."

"It is simply not good enough to handball the issue to the private operators or blame it on the previous Government. Two years into the Bracks Government's term, passengers are sick of hearing that it is Mr Kennett's fault and want solutions from Mr Batchelor."

"The PTUA calls upon Mr Batchelor to act like a Minister and pull the private operators into line. The travelling public of Melbourne and Victoria deserve nothing less," concluded Mr Williams

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 04 December 2001