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Public transport users will be entitled to a free ride after train operator Connex revealed it had fallen short of performance targets for July.
Connex spokesman John Rees said the operator had fallen short of the 92 per cent target by about half a per cent.
This is the sixth time in seven months that Connex has missed the performance target for trains running on time.
Holders of monthly, six-monthly and yearly Metcards will soon be able to claim a free daily ticket as compensation and have been urged to hold on to their tickets.
Mr Rees said the final July punctuality figure would be revealed tomorrow, but said this month would be an improvement on the past two monthly results.
Connex said part of the improvement was due to train approach speeds at stations returning to 40km/h after earlier problems with Siemens trains overshooting stations.
Last month Connex blamed poor performance on unprecedented demand, which was leading to overcrowding and delayed trains.
Incoming premier John Brumby identified easing public transport congestion as one of his priorities. High petrol prices, and the March abolition of the outer-suburban zone three has contributed to increased demand.
Daniel Bowen from the Public Transport Users Association said the performance results were not surprising.
"While no doubt some people will be claiming the compensation, I'm sure we'd all rather see the problems fixed and get the trains running on time again," he said.
He said the results meant the government should be "carefully looking at whether Connex should continue running the train system".
A decision on renewing the contract must be made by November.
by Ari Sharp
July 31, 2007 - 2:43PM
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