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In her article on Packed, late trains in The Age on Tuesday, 25 April, Elizabeth Lakey highlights the neglect and abandonment by the Andrews Government with regional rail commuters.
In her article she states that '2015 and 2016 were horror years, where it seemed that half the peak hour services did not run at all. Some were replaced with coaches, others disappeared without trace. The remaining carriages strained to accommodate the thousands of travellers who were frustrated, then furious and eventually too tired and disappointed to be angry anymore.'
This is what the Minister of Transport, Jacinta Allan and the CEO of V/line rely on, worn out commuters who are too tired of the constancy of the situation of the regional rail network , to voice their discontent with commuting by rail from regional Victoria.
(See Daniel Bowens article on the passenger performance of V/Line over the past few years)
Elizabeth Lakey concedes that 'V/line is adding one extra carriage a month, demand remains much higher than its ability to supply. This translates to hours of pain for hapless commuters as we cram aboard carriages full to bursting knowing there are more stops ahead.'
Elizabeth Lakey travels on the Ballarat line and the scenario she presents also applies to the Bendigo and Geelong network lines. She also raises the contentious issue of regional trains no longer stopping at North Melbourne and having to change at Footscray and having to attempt to board metropolitan trains that are also overcrowded and she endeavours to do this with a pram.
Elizabeth concludes in her article, 'It is sometimes difficult not to feel a nihilistic sense of hopelessness at the sheer inadequacy of the service we are offered, in the face of significantly increasing travel times, more late arrivals, overcrowding and irregular services.'
It certainly does not appear that commuting in 2017 has improved with Jacinta Allan in the driver's cab.
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