Australia V/Line passengers told to get used to standing

05:00  21 april  2017
05:00  21 april  2017 Source:   9news.com.au

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One commuter called Shane, who uses the Brighton line daily from Gatwick to London, tells me he sees such behaviour regularly. Passengers report that delayed services and lack of capacity force them to stand in first class.

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Passengers using Victoria’s regional trains face being forced to stand more often, as V/Line struggles to keep up with booming patronage growth.

Last month the rail operator carried a record 1.9 million passengers, with more than 750,000 on the Geelong line alone.

Public Transport Victoria says it’s a level of ridership “not seen before”.

Much of the growth has come from new stations in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, with Tarneit, which was only opened in June 2015, already the second busiest station on V/Line’s network.

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But the growth in passenger numbers has resulted in many peak services arriving into Southern Cross at full capacity.

This morning new CEO James Pinder faced a parliamentary committee, telling the hearing he isn’t satisfied with current levels of performance.

In March roughly one in five commuter trains arrived late, while ongoing speed restrictions on the Warrnambool line saw just 31.2% of services arrive on time.

Mr Pinder said Victoria’s booming population is changing V/Line’s role.

“We can no longer classify ourselves as a regional-type network, when we’re operating on that corridor between Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo and the city” he said.

“Do we like the fact on some of our trains when they arrive at our stations within that corridor people have to stand for 20 minutes? No”.

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How to use be used to , get used to and used to correctly. I am used to getting up early in the morning. I don't mind it. He didn't complain about the neighbours’ loud party – he was used to the noise.

In urban public transport, provision is made for standing passengers , often called straphangers or standees, to rationalize operation and to provide extra capacity during rush hour. On crowded rapid transit urban lines , while most travelers may be seated during off-peak services

“We are in some ways victims of our own success”.

The state government has ordered 48 extra V/Locity carriages in an attempt to boost capacity, the last of which is due to be delivered early next year.

Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the government has now started work on plans for a “next generation” regional train.

“A bigger longer train, for example that enables it to carry more passengers, which would certainly address some of those issues and challenges of growth that we’re experiencing across the network” she said.

But the trade-off for extra capacity is likely to be fewer seats, meaning even more passengers could be forced to spend at least part of their journey on their feet.

The government is under pressure to commit more funds to regional rail in next month’s state budget.

'Groaning' Victorian regional rail to get $1.45b funding boost for improvements across network .
Victoria's troubled regional rail network V/Line will get a $1.45 billion upgrade, including funding for a new line to Torquay, as part of the State Government's upcoming budget.The package includes $435 million dollars for the Gippsland line, improvements to the Warrnambool, Echuca, Bendigo and Ballarat services, and $110 million for the new Surf Coast rail project to Torquay.

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