public transport Public Transport Victoria | June 13, 2018

Further frustrations experienced by Gippsland public transport commuters

Last week in parliament member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath further highlighted the Andrews Labor government's poor public transport planning and the continual headaches and frustration for Gippsland public transport users.

Due to construction work on the Pakenham line during May and June, coaches are once again replacing rail services to Traralgon and on to Bairnsdale.

“With a punctuality rating of approximately 47 per cent on any given day, Gippsland commuters toss a coin on whether they will arrive at their destination on time or not,” Ms Bath said.

An incident that occurred last week was an exasperating example of the 'or not' scenario, with absolute frustration for commuters using the Gippsland line replacement bus service.  Travelling home on the afternoon service from Melbourne, passengers noticed fumes of burning rubber permeating through the bus.

After communicating this with the driver, passengers were informed that the bus driver was aware of the problem and believed it was the clutch.  The driver informed commuters he was attempting to coax the bus gingerly along to the town of Moe.

“Clearly the bus driver was not at fault for the mechanical failures and poor condition of the public transport vehicle; he was simply doing his job attempting to get his passengers safely to their destination,” Ms Bath said.

Approximately seven kilometres short of Moe the bus lost power entirely and the bus driver had to pull over on the side of the Princes Highway.  Passengers were informed another coach ahead of them would turn around, come back and collect them after approximately an hour's delay.  When the bus arrived, commuters were faced with insufficient seats to accommodate all of the passengers. As a result, 10 very sad and infuriated people had to remain on the side of the road to wait for another bus to arrive.

“The public transport situation between Melbourne and Gippsland is a total farce and debacle.  Regional commuters continue to be undervalued and inconvenienced to the nth degree while the Andrews Government focuses only on Melbourne and ignores the needs of Gippslanders.  We have continual delays, breakdowns and more delays on the Gippsland line.”

“The action I seek from the minister is to investigate this incident and to fix the Gippsland public transport debacle to ensure that passengers do not have to suffer the inconvenience of waiting on the side of the Princes Highway and can get to their destination within a reasonable time.”

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