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Media Release


Fast Rail Frustration

Still no commitments on train frequency, fare integration or bus connections to stations

Geelong's public transport users last night expressed their frustration over the State Government's failure to commit to key elements of a better rail service to Melbourne, at last night's meeting at the Geelong West Town Hall.

Convenor of the Geelong Branch of the Public Transport Users Association, Tim Petersen, said it was clear from the meeting that train users wanted a comprehensive service upgrade, not just some smoother track and the occasional fast train.

Mr Petersen said it was deeply disappointing that the government had failed to make any commitments on train frequency, fare integration and bus connections to stations.

"Users are looking for a frequent, reliable train service, with buses meeting every train and fares that include travel on both Geelong buses and Melbourne public transport."

"They are also demanding guarantees that regular stops at important stations like Corio, Lara, Werribee and Footscray won't be sacrificed to achieve the government's 45-minute travel time target."

Mr Petersen said the Government should commit to trains running at least every half hour, with services up to every 15 minutes during peak times to deal with overcrowding. "It is ridiculous that during the middle of the day, people will still be able to drive to Melbourne in the time they would spend waiting for the train."

He also said that if the government was serious about getting more people to use public transport, fares needed to be integrated so that a seamless and cost competitive journey could be provided. "To make a return journey between Belmont and St Kilda Road, adult passengers currently have to buy four tickets at a total cost of over $27. It's just not competitive."

Mr Petersen added that increasing pressure on station car parking would make reliable bus connections to every train even more critical. "The Bracks Government's inaction on this issue has been damning."

He said users were also concerned over the poor provision for bicycles on board the new trains, saying the two spaces per train (to be shared with other bulky luggage) were inadequate.

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 29 October 2002