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V/LINE trains would be equipped with wireless internet and dedicated workstations under a bold proposal put forward by business leaders in Melbourne and Ballarat.
The Committee for Melbourne and the Committee for Ballarat issued a joint plea last week for better internet facilities on all commuter trains between Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.
Committee for Melbourne chief executive Andrew MacLeod said WiFi internet was already on public transport in many countries around the world and was critical in attracting business.
“Governments and service providers who want to attract the world’s best practitioners are realising this is a great way to make sure these people live and work in our midst,” Mr MacLeod said.
Committee of Ballarat chair Tony Chew said there was substantial demand for the service, with many commuters surprised it wasn’t available now.
The committees called on the State Government and service providers to implement trials on regional trains immediately.
V/Line spokesman James Kelly said the organisation regularly received requests for the service from passengers and had approached major providers to assess feasibility.
But significant and high-cost infrastructure would be required.
“It came down to who was going to pay for it. It’s just not something we thought was feasible to do at a free or low-cost price to passengers,” Mr Kelly said.
He said many passengers already used the internet through mobile phone providers.
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