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Media Release


Christmas Present for Public Transport Users: Higher Fares, No Service

The Public Transport Users Association has attacked the private public transport operators and the state government for the lack of service over the Christmas break.

PTUA Secretary Vaughan Williams said that poor service levels over Christmas and New Year added insult to injury coming at the same time as a fare rise, foreshadowed cuts to Sunday trains, and a fare evasion crackdown punishing honest travellers for a dysfunctional ticketing system.

"Two-thirds of Melburnians will have no public transport services at all on Christmas Day. While trams and trains are running to the normal Sunday timetable, almost no bus routes are running anywhere in Melbourne. Most Melbourne bus routes do not operate on Sundays or public holidays, and most of those that do shut down on Christmas Day," said Mr Williams

"In many suburbs, there will be no bus services at all for four of the nine days between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day," Mr Williams said. "Thousands of Melburnians will be isolated over the Christmas-New Year period, yet people will be expected to pay higher fares for these non-existent services."

Mr Williams cited the example of the City of Greater Dandenong, which has a population of 126,000. Dandenong is a low-income area and 12.8% of households have no car (compared with the Melbourne-wide average of 11.2%. Mr Williams said: "Between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, there are no bus services in Dandenong for four of those nine days. Given that many households have no car, thousands of people will be stranded"

"The story is similar in most other outer suburban areas. There are no buses at all for four of the nine days in Melton, Werribee or Whittlesea."

Mr Williams also criticised the inadequate late-night service on New Years Eve.

“The Government and the private operators are running services until 1:30am. While this is better than the usual late night services, it still does not meet the needs of this great city. Even Perth runs its trains until 3am, and on every Friday and Saturday night, not just on New Years Eve,” said Mr Williams

“Inadequate New Years Eve services make it difficult for people to get home after celebrations and do little to help our road toll. Surely Melbourne can do better than Perth in providing New Years Eve services!”

''It's time the thousands of Melbourne residents stranded at home received a Christmas present from the State government. It’s time affordable mobility - being able to travel where they want, when they want - was recognised as a basic right for the people of Melbourne and Victoria,” concluded Mr Williams

PTUA Office 9650 7898

Page not found | Public Transport Users Association (Victoria, Australia)

Last Modified: 24 December 2001