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Geelong Branch Media Release


Geelong Tickets to include Metro travel

Users call for fast rail sweetener to be extended

Public transport users have welcomed an announcement that Geelong train tickets will be valid for travel in Melbourne’s Zone 1, during the six-week closure of the Geelong line for fast rail construction works.

Spokesman for the Public Transport Users Association’s Geelong branch, Tim Petersen, has hailed the move as a step towards fare integration and called for the arrangement to be extended indefinitely.

Buried in a Friday 12 December media release from the Minister for Transport, the government announced that:

"During the extended shutdown period [from 4 Jan to 11 Feb 2004], Geelong V/Line tickets will be valid for travel on the metropolitan train and tram system in Zone 1."

Melbourne’s Zone 1 covers Melbourne’s CBD and inner suburbs.

Mr Petersen said the special arrangements should continue beyond the reopening of the Geelong line, to make the fare system fairer.

V/Line commuters currently pay 75% more than people travelling a similar distance from outer metropolitan Zone 3. Yet unlike Geelong travellers, people from Zone 3 can use any trams, trains and buses across Melbourne all day.

Mr Petersen said that in an earlier letter responding to the PTUA’s calls for fare integration, the Minister’s advisor had written that it "could only be contemplated in the context of both replacing the current ticketing system and of the current budget position."

"This clearly shows that including travel on trams and trains is possible without replacing the current ticketing system."

"Overseas, integrating fares has seen patronage climb by up to 15%. $1.5m per annum is a small price to pay to get more people catching public transport," Mr Petersen concluded.

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 14 December 2003