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Data obtained by Nine News has revealed some of Melbourne’s busiest suburban train stations have some of the worst levels of off-peak service.
Sunshine, Watergardens, Essendon and Williams Landing are among the city’s most used suburban stations, where off-peak trains stop just once every 20 minutes.
That’s despite ten minute frequencies at much quieter stations on the politically sensitive Frankston line.
Some of the city's busiest train stations have some of the worst levels of off-peak service. (9news)
Williams Landing station on the Werribee line was only opened in 2013, but is now used by an average 5730 people each day; making it the 19th busiest on the metropolitan network.
Public Transport Victoria CEO Jeroen Weimar said the figures were symptomatic of strong patronage growth in Melbourne’s booming north and west.
“We see the same thing in Wyndham Vale and Tarneit,” Mr Weimar said.
“Stations that didn't exist four years ago are now the busiest on the entire V/Line network outside of Southern Cross.”
But the Public Transport Users Association said timetables have failed to keep up with the city’s growth.
Spokesman Daniel Bowen said that in many parts of the city, it has remained virtually unchanged since the 1970s.
“There's no logical reason for the train frequency dropping off to 20 or 30 minutes outside of peak times,” Mr Bowen said.
“It's just crazy that in a city the size of Melbourne the authorities are still doing this.
“You see traffic on the road right through the day, you should see frequent trains across the network right through the day as well.”
Off-peak trains run every 20 minutes on the Craigieburn, Sunbury, Werribee, Upfield, South Morang, and Hurstbridge lines.
Trains run every ten minutes on the Dandenong and Frankston lines, and on weekends along the Ringwood corridor.
Public Transport Users Association has said timetables have failed to keep up with the city’s growth. (9news)Transport planners have presented the government with a proposal to run trains every ten minutes on all trunk lines, from 7am to 9pm, seven days a week.
Shadow Transport Minister David Davis said it was a concept the city should embrace sooner rather than later.
“We know the trains run more frequently in peak hour, so they can run more frequently in the off-peak too”.
Public Transport Victoria’s annual patronage data shows growth in passenger numbers around the network.
Flinders Street remains Metro’s busiest station, with an average 92,072 passengers each day; an increase of two per cent on 2016/17.
The recently opened Southland station is averaging 1219 passengers per day.
Metro’s least used station is Stony Point, with an average of just nine passengers a day; three fewer than the year before (although services on the Stony Point Line was badly affected by the reconstruction of the new Frankston Station).
Melbourne’s busiest stations (average daily patronage 2017/18)
Source: Public Transport Victoria (PTV)
Flinders Street: 92,072
Southern Cross: 66,101
Melbourne Central: 54,124
South Yarra: 15,555
Box Hill: 12,269
Williams Landing: 5730
Glen Waverley: 5544
This article first appeared on www.9news.com.au
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