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This petition calls on local councils, the state government, state opposition and relevant local MPs to advocate for better public transport for fed-up commuters in Craigieburn and on the Craigieburn train line.
In October last year, Channel 7 reported the Craigieburn line was the worst in Melbourne for overcrowding.
The report stated 25.1% of trains were overcrowded in afternoon peak, with Werribee (16.5% in AM peak) the next worst.
The Age last year reported one in five services in the morning and afternoon commute period was crowded beyond acceptable capacity.
Its report showed 19.2 per cent of trains in afternoon peak ran above the accepted benchmark of 900 passengers, a sharp rise from 7.7 per cent in May 2018.
This has been a significant problem for commuters from Craigieburn for years.
The Herald Sun reported more than half of Craigieburn trains (57%) were overcrowded between 7.01am and 9.30pm in 2016.
Yet nothing appears to have been done to fix the problem. In fact, it’s getting worse.
In 2016, Craigieburn was home to 50,347 residents, up from 32,757 in 2011 (Australian census data).
The suburb is forecast to be home to more than 60,000 people by the end of this year.
This figure does not take into account the number of stops the train takes in from Craigieburn to the city.
Recently, I caught an 8.55am service to the city to avoid overcrowding. It had people standing by Essendon.
There are five in the Hume City Council area (Craigieburn, Roxburgh Park, Coolaroo, Broadmeadows and Jacana), three in Moreland (Glenroy, Oak Park and Pascoe Vale), seven in Moonee Valley (Strathmore, Glenbervie, Essendon, Moonee Ponds, Ascot Vale, Newmarket and Kensington) plus North Melbourne and the city loop).
It takes in 20 stops and the average journey is estimated at 45 minutes by Metro (any commuter will tell you it’s more likely to be anywhere between 50-65 minutes).
Metro is required to deliver 98% of services and 90% punctuality before compensation is available.
On the Craigieburn line, 87.8% of services were delivered on time in 2019. PTV data shows 49,601 services were scheduled and 7516 trains were delivered late. That equates to about 20 late train services a day. There were 843 trains cancelled on the line last year.
This is compared to 91.9% on the Upfield line, 95.8% on the Glen Waverley line, 93.1% on the Hurstbridge line, 92.6% on the Mernda line and 93.6% on the Williamstown line.
Any regular commuter who relies on the bus services can tell you the connection between the trains and buses is poor, not to mention many of the routes are more than 10 minutes from new areas of Craigieburn.
I recently wrote to Ros Spence and PTV and it was acknowledged any delay in the 8.20pm Craigieburn service would mean commuters would miss the last 529 bus of the night.
The time has come for something to be done about this issue. The addition of a few extra car parks at the already crowded Craigieburn Station isn't enough to paper over the cracks of a poor service which is only getting worse.
This article first appeared on www.change.org
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