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Geelong Branch Media Release


Geelong line upgrade welcomed

But users still await a commitment on frequency

The Geelong Branch of the Public Transport Users Association has welcomed the State Government's commitment to upgrading regional rail through the Fast Rail Projects, but still awaits a strong commitment on service frequency between Melbourne and Geelong.

Spokesperson for the Geelong Branch, Tim Petersen, said that users of the Geelong service expected trains running at least every half-hour, all day between Geelong and Melbourne.

"Only by having frequent services will regional Victoria's economy truly benefit from the fast rail projects. If people can still drive to Melbourne in the time they spend waiting for the next train, a ten-minute reduction in travel time will mean little," Mr Petersen said.

"Peoples' lives do not run to timetables, so minimising the wait between trains is critical. At the moment, passengers can wait up to two hours between trains on Sundays, while poor evening services put a curfew on train travellers"

Mr Petersen said that given the government was to spend the least amount of fast rail money ($69 million) on the Geelong line - despite Geelong having the biggest market - users were entitled to expect a long-awaited upgrade of services.

"If the State Government wants to show it is serious about frequency, it is not good enough for it to simply hope that V/Line's private operator, National Express, will run extra services. Service frequency is far too important to be an afterthought," Mr Petersen concluded.

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 25 June 2002