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Geelong Branch Media Release

05/09/2002

PTUA calls for action on train overcrowding

The PTUA today called for action to relieve chronic overcrowding on the Geelong-Melbourne rail service. Spokesperson for the Geelong Branch Tim Petersen said it was unacceptable that passengers were regularly having to stand for the entire hour-long journey, and called on the State Government to ensure that problem is fixed.

Mr Petersen said train users were entitled to expect a seat in all but exceptional circumstances, and yet the PTUA was continually receiving reports from passengers who are forced to stand due to a shortage of seats. "While we believe passengers should be compensated if they cannot find a seat, more than anything passengers simply want the problem fixed."

Mr Petersen said that trains to Melbourne were regularly "at capacity" after they left Geelong station, despite having to pick up more passengers at North Geelong, North Shore, Corio, Lara or Little River stations. He said that a number of trains back to Geelong also suffered from similar overcrowding.

He called on the State Government to demand regular reports on overcrowding from V/Line, and ensure that it takes measures to alleviate the problem, like adding extra carriages and running more frequent services. "If V/Line won't take those steps then the Government needs to intervene. The rail service must be able to cope with increasing passenger numbers now and into the future."

"It is in everyone's interest that people catch the train rather than drive to Melbourne. The road works on the Princes Freeway provide a critical opportunity to win over travellers to Melbourne. Yet if potential passengers canít even get seats on the train, they will drive their cars instead."

Passengers wishing to report incidents of overcrowding are encouraged to e-mail the PTUA at geelong at ptua.org.au and their local State Government MP.

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898


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Last Modified: 05 September 2002