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Daniel Andrews’ new train tables; longer travel times; missing stations and short half runs

Friday, 8 January 2021

Daniel Andrews’ new train tables; longer travel times; missing stations and short half runs

Daniel Andrews’ Public Transport Minister has quietly put the new Metropolitan train table up on a website hoping commuters won’t see it; because it’s not all good news.

The new timetable is full of unpleasant surprises with longer journey times a feature, and key stations bypassed.

Melbourne’s commuters deserve a full published reconciliation of the changes rather than a nasty surprise when they return to work from holidays to discover the train they caught previously will take longer or no longer stops at their station.

Ben Carroll held back the new timetable before the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing in December where he would have been questioned closely about its negative impact on commuters. It’s clear he held it back because on balance it’s not good news; some new services traded off against by passing stations and longer travel times for many services.

A case study is the Cranbourne line –City to Cranbourne journey, you can see that:

  • The 4.45 am and 5.14 am were a stopping all stations to Dandenong service, they are now the 4.56 and 5.16 services which don’t stop at Hawksburn, Toorak, Armadale, Malvern and Caulfield.
  • The Flinders Street to Dandenong journey (not stopping at Hawksburn, Toorak, Armadale, Malvern and Caulfield) had a journey time of 40 min; under new timetable journey time is 42 min.
  • There are over 60 services each week (not stopping at Hawksburn, Toorak, Armadale, Malvern and Caulfield) that are affected.
  • Journey times for City to Cranbourne services has increased from 56 min to 59 min.

Similar concerning stories are true on many other lines. That’s why a full reconciliation is needed to be honest with commuters.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Public Transport (Metropolitan), David Davis:

“Daniel Andrews and Ben Carroll need to come clean on the nasty surprises in their new train timetable.

“After all the billions of taxpayers’ monies spent on rail upgrades and level crossings, and all the inconvenience, is this all we get; not much of a dividend, slower times, bypassing stations, short running?

“This is designed to coverup Labor’s inability to run the trains punctually; before COVID-19 Labor have failed their rail, punctuality targets every month for more than a year. Clearly one way to meet punctuality targets is to lengthen the times on the timetable – it’s easier to meet – or to take stops off the trip. But none of this helps commuters who expect to get home quickly and on the advertised times.”