Passengers planning to travel on a new mid-evening service from Melbourne to Warrnambool will pay extra compared to other services, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says.
Mrs Britnell said the train, departing the city at 5.17pm, would be classed as a peak service, pushing up fares and ruling free travel vouchers sent to senior’s card holders invalid.
She said the community fought long and hard for extra services on the Warrnambool line, but it was becoming a shambles.
“Adding this service was about increasing convenience for regional passengers, but it’s becoming anything but,” Mrs Britnell said.
“One of the key reasons for this new service, with early departure from Melbourne, was to ensure seniors who are in the city for medical appointments or just visiting for the day could return home at a reasonable hour.
“Not being able to use the free off-peak travel vouchers takes away that convenience and adds to the ever increasing cost of living.”
The service from is classed as a peak service because it departs the city between 4pm and 6pm. It will be the only service on the line classed as peak.
A one-way economy ticket on the service will cost $51.40 per full fare passenger or $25.70 for concession card holders. Off-peak passengers pay $36 for a one-way economy ticket on a non-peak service or $18 for concession.
“It seems this new service has been set up to fail. It departs to close to the existing evening train and has clearly been timetabled so the Government can say they are providing a new commuter service to Geelong during the evening peak,” Mrs Britnell said.
“Added costs for the peak fare will mean people will just avoid the service to save money.
“At a time when every train on the Warrnambool line is late and the travel time extended to factor in delays, it seems bitterly unfair passengers should be paying premium prices for a second rate service.”