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A recent V/Line timetable change replaced the 4.31pm Seymour service with a Shepparton service.
The government and V/Line will no doubt claim this as a win for Shepparton travellers: the introduction of an extra service.
In every other respect this innovation is an abject failure that benefits no one, least of all V/Line’s bread and butter commuters who suffer the greatest inconvenience.
An already overcrowded six-car set has been replaced by a five-car set (with buffet, it equals a four-and-a-half car set). Only three of these cars are available to commuters as non-reserved seating.
It is now even more crowded, and unsafe — passengers in cattle-class unable to find a seat instead stand in aisles, door recesses and any available space.
The 5.11pm Seymour service is a little better. Watch as commuters closer to Melbourne desert V/Line in droves.
Public transport becomes less appealing. Years of government neglect and inaction, together with successive budget cuts, have emasculated V/Line and starved it of the infrastructure support it desperately needs to offer a comfortable, efficient service.
While V/Line treats Seymour line commuters as second-class citizens, the transport minister watches on.
The clowns are in charge of the circus.
— Darryl McInerney,
This article first appeared on www.riverineherald.com.au
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