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Media Release

19/10/2005

Call for train boost

The Public Transport Users Association will call for upgraded train services in its submission to the next state budget.

Under the PTUA plan, trains would be boosted on all lines to at least every 10 minutes during peak hour, every 15 minutes 7 days a week to 9pm, then every 20 minutes to midnight. Currently many lines have trains only every 20 minutes, even in peak hour, and almost all lines fall back to every 30 minutes or worse after 7:30pm.

PTUA president Daniel Bowen said that while some lines with single track sections would require upgrades, most of the extra services outside peak hours could be achieved immediately, with no extra trains required to be purchased. The boost is expected to cost around $25 million per year, but with increased fare revenue reducing the ongoing cost.

"There are major traffic snarls all day every day -- not just in peak hours -- all around Melbourne. By providing better public transport all week, more people will have a viable alternative to driving their cars. More frequent services would help make trains the 'mode of choice' for more trips."

Mr Bowen said that although boosting peak hour services could take some time due to track issues and shortages of trains and drivers, the off-peak, evening and weekend services could be boosted much more quickly, and would fix a number of problems, including:

  • relieving the congested Westgate bridge by providing more frequent western suburbs train services
  • helping long waiting times and overcrowding on trains after 7pm, and on weekends
  • reducing overcrowding on peak hour trains by making it more attractive to travel out of the peaks
  • providing better alternatives to people affected by the continuing high price of petrol
  • helping achieve the government's vision of 20% of trips on public transport by 2020

"Upgrading train services would make better use of our extensive rail network, and provide the biggest service boost in years to public transport, to help keep all of Melbourne moving", concluded Mr Bowen

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898


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Last Modified: 19 October 2005