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Media Release


Batchelor’s Christmas Present For Public Transport:

Higher fares, slashed services

The Public Transport Users Association has condemned plans to slash services over the summer approved this week by the Director of Public Transport.

PTUA Secretary Vaughan Williams said that the Director, Peter Harris, had failed to act in the public interest by approving the cancellation of 58 train services and allowing tram services to be cut by about a third.

"The Director and the Minister have sold out the travelling public," said Mr Williams. "The operators are nearly broke, and they don't want to have to pay overtime while their drivers go on leave in January. It's in their interests to cut services, and it's part of Mr Batchelor's job to stop them."

"Tram services will be particularly hard hit over the summer. My local service, the #96, will be cut from every 7.5 minutes during the day to every 10 - 12 minutes."

Mr Williams also condemned the Government for the secrecy surrounding the service cuts.

"The Passenger's Charter requires the Director to consult an advisory Committee before approving timetable changes. This Committee met the day before the State Election, but the cuts were not disclosed to the Committee. Surely the Director was aware that the Committee would have strongly objected to cuts of this magnitude. Instead, we get a letter curtly informing us that drastic service cuts have been approved."

"Perhaps Mr Harris needs to check his dictionary for the meaning of 'consult'," said Mr Williams.

Mr Williams added that a fare increase on 1 January, alongside the service cuts, would have a further adverse impact on patronage.

"The fare increase adds insult to injury for public transport users."

"Public transport fares are already uncompetitive with driving for many trips, and increasing fares only makes it more so. Higher fares and slashed services are no way to increase patronage, and will only further entrench car dependency," concluded Mr Williams

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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

Last Modified: 13 December 2002