Locals furious with rail pricing

Ballarat commuters believe financial compensation is in order for the current servicesoffered on the crisis-strickenV/Line network.

Last week the regional rail provider announced that a quarter of the VLocity trainswere to be commissioned for urgent maintenance works to fix the fleet’s wheels, which are wearing at a higher than expected rate.

Ballarat commuters are furious with the result,with many trains reduced in carriage number, severely late or replaced with coaches.

It is unclear how long the pattern will last, however, it is understood that there are no plans to offer added compensation to the commuters.

Many commuters believe therecent price hike by Public Transport Victoria makes the cost disproportionately high for the service that is being delivered.

Commuter Francis Rouhan said prices should be halved if trains are replaced with coaches.

“It’s not meeting demands when we’re paying such large amounts for the myki and ticketing,” MrRouhan said.

“There must be some compensation for lateness, even half price (ticketing) if there are coaches to replace the trains.

“Or we could get an extra day (in value)for what we purchase.”

John Moloughney said compensation should be offered for late services.

“In essence I’ve had to adjust my work schedule,” he said.

“Delays have added up to be over a couple of hours in the past week – what it should be is a refund that starts to come through.”

V/Line spokesperson Ebony Jordan did not say if there would by anyadded compensation when contacted by The Courier.

“Compensation may be available to V/Line customers who experience a delay of 60 minutes or more in a single journey,” she said.

“This is in addition to regular performance compensation, which is available to customers when we fall short of our monthly targets.”

Western Victoria MP Joshua Morris said the state government should review what the Regional Rail Link offers.

“I think it’s incredibly important that the government does review what it is doing,” Mr Morris said.

“Commuters are absolutely ropeable and rightly so –there are peoplechoosing to drive and even choosing to move back to Melbourne.

“I think it really is up to the government to work out what they owe the commuters for the service that’s in place.”

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